Local News

Man Convicted for Ponzi Scheme Took More than $90 Million from Elderly Victims

GavelCourtSAN FRANCISCO—

A man who was convicted of defrauding elderly Californian’s out of more than $90 million was sentenced to 42 years in prison, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Monday.

James Koenig, a 60-year-old Redding resident, was found guilty back in May of 35 counts of conspiracy, scheming to defraud with selling securities, selling securities by false statements and residential burglary in relation to the fake investments.

Due to the large amount of money Koenig’s victims lost, a number of special enhancements were added to his charges.

According to a release by the Attorney General’s office, Koenig perpetrated the fraud while running a company called Assent Real Estate Corporation from 1999 to 2008. His company was involved in buying, managing and selling property – including elder care facilities.

Koenig is said to have lied to investors into his company, not telling them of how bad they were doing financially. The life savings and home equities of many of his elderly victims were poured into the securities his company sold, the attorney general notes.

The money Koenig collected from new investors was used to pay off his original investors, resulting in a $163 million debt by 2007. Koenig’s company then stopped making payments to investors by April 2007, even while he continued to sell securities to new “investors.”

By the spring of 2008, Koenig’s Ponzi scheme failed, the attorney general notes.

Of Koenig’s over 400 victims, 32 people – who lost more than $8 million – brought about the case against Koenig.

Koenig was handed down his 42-year sentence by the Shasta County Superior Court on Friday. He’ll also face a restitution hearing later.

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