James C. Nistler, Medford, Oregon, a developer and mortgage broker, has been convicted in a complex real estate Ponzi scheme to defraud investors. Nistler, who was a high-ranking U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development official in the late 1980s, was unanimously convicted of 1 count of Racketeering, 8 counts of Securities Fraud and 8 counts of Aggravated Theft in the First Degree. The racketeering count included an additional 32 separate predicate crimes.
The scheme centered on Tennessee Acres, a proposed housing development in Medford, Oregon. Nistler took in $1.2 million from investors to build houses, but actually spent less than $400,000 of the money on the project. Nistler was unlicensed and the securities he sold were unregistered. About a dozen investors, mostly elderly, lost more than $800,000.
Consumers can obtain information about investments and salespeople by calling the division at 866-814-9710 or visit www.dfcs.oregon.gov.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 9, 2010, in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Attorney General John Kroger announced the conviction.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Attorney General Rachel Bridges of the Oregon Department of Justice and Jason Weber of the Division of Finance and Corporate Securities (DFCS). Tippi Pearse of DFCS assisted on the case. Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston also assisted.
“This cases invovled unconscionable scheme to prey on the elderly,” said Attorney General Kroger. “I want to thank the Division and Finance and Corporate Securities for their work on this case.”
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
“Nistler violated a variety of securities laws and provided misleading information to investors, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable,” said David Tatman, administrator of the Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. “Oregonians should always research investments and salespeople thoroughly before investing.”