| The federal court Friday sentenced former Danville resident Francis William "Bill" Reimers to nine years in prison for mail fraud and money laundering.
The judge also ordered Reimers, 62, to pay $9.6 million in restitution to the victims he swindled.
He pleaded guilty in March, admitting he created an entity purportedly to provide financial and investment management services to individual investors. However, when engaging his clients, he told them a series of lies including that he'd developed a "regression analysis" program which could predict whether mutual fund values would rise or fall. He also lied about promising returns of at least 9 percent and said he would follow a conservative investment approach.
Reimers later admitted he did not invest these client funds, instead using the money to pay his mortgage and to pay for luxury cars, exotic vacations and hunting trips. He also used their money to fund his two other businesses: Plan Compliance Group and Univest Capital Management. These companies were created to handle third-party administration of school employee accounts and benefits for federal government employees.
As third-party administrators, his two companies collected payroll distributions from thousands of employees and remitted them to institutional investment companies and to insurance providers. Reimers used the cash flow to pay investors who requested monthly dividends or who asked to close their accounts.
Reimers sent account statements which falsely stated that his clients' funds were invested in various mutual funds and tax-free market funds.
On March 12, the U.S. Attorney charged Reimers with six counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. He pleaded guilty March 23 to all seven counts. The prosecution was the result of a 15-month investigation by the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation.
Sentencing took place in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, where emotional victims spoke out against Reimers.
Judge D. Lowell Jensen sentenced Reimers, ordering him to report to federal prison Jan. 16.
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