U. S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20170 / June 28, 2007
FORMER CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PRACTITIONER SENTENCED TO 87 MONTHS IMPRISONMENT FOR OPERATING FICTITIOUS INVESTMENT SCHEME
United States of America v. Eric Edward Resteiner, Criminal Action No. 04-CR-10082 (MLW) U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts - Filed March 24, 2004.
SEC v. Eric E. Resteiner, et al., Civil Action No. 01-10637(PBS) U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts - Filed April 16, 2001.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that the federal court for the District of Massachusetts sentenced Eric E. Resteiner for criminal charges based on his operation of a fraudulent investment scheme through which he raised more than $30 million. Resteiner was a defendant in a previously filed SEC fraud action based on the same conduct. The sentence, handed down on May 16, 2007, ordered Resteiner to serve 87 months of incarceration, followed by two years of supervised release, and to pay restitution in the amount of $33.9 million. Resteiner renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1995, and will be deported from the United States following his term of imprisonment.
The criminal indictment alleged that Resteiner created and executed a scheme by which he defrauded approximately 50 investors, many of whom were members of the Church of Christ Scientist (Christian Science Church), out of more than $30 million through a purported high-yield, international bank trading program. As part of this scheme, Resteiner, assisted by others, made false representations to prospective investors, including that he was one of only a few people in the world permitted to conduct "off-balance sheet" trading, that his trading program would pay annual returns of no less than 50 percent, and that investors' principal would never be at risk. The indictment further alleged that Resteiner knew that he was not a trader and had no way to generate the promised investment returns, that investors' principal was not safe, and was in fact being used to pay purported "interest" payments to investors to lure more investors into the scheme, and to support his lavish lifestyle. The indictment alleged Resteiner maintained homes in the Bahamas and in Switzerland, a yacht, an airplane, a helicopter, two Rolls Royce motor cars, two Hummer vehicles, a Porsche Carerra sports car, and other assorted vehicles.
On April 16, 2001, the Commission filed a complaint in the Massachusetts federal district court against Resteiner and others charging them each with participating in the same investment scheme alleged in the indictment. On August 19, 2002, the Massachusetts federal district court entered default judgments against Resteiner and another defendant, Voldemar A. VonStrasdas, in the Commission's action. The Court ordered Resteiner and VonStrasdas jointly and severally to pay disgorgement plus prejudgment interest of $25,930,895.26. In addition, the Court ordered Resteiner and VonStrasdas each to pay civil penalties of $4.4 million, and permanently enjoined each of them from violating the antifraud and other provisions of the federal securities laws. The court also entered judgments by consent against two other individuals involved in Resteiner's fraudulent investment scheme, Charles G. Dyer and Miles M. Harbur, and against two entities controlled by Dyer, Resource F, LLC and Bunker Hill Aviation, LLC.
Unscrupulous promoters continue to victimize the public with Prime Bank schemes. Accordingly, investors are advised to access the Commission's "Prime Bank" Investor Alert that provides tips on how to avoid being a victim of these scams. The investor alert can be found on the Commission's web site, at http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/primebank.shtml.
For further information, please see Litigation Release No. 19613 (March 17, 2006); Litigation Release No. 18648 (March 30, 2004); Litigation Release No. 18414 (October 16, 2003); Litigation Release No. 18394 (October 4, 2003); Litigation Release No. 17858 (November 22, 2002); Litigation Release No. 17713 (September 5, 2002); Litigation Release No. 16969 (April 18, 2001); and Litigation Release No. 16963 (April 16, 2001).