Senior Who Swindled Seniors In $18 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced To 108 Months In Federal Prison; Case Sends Message To ‘Con Artists,’ Top Federal Prosecutor Says

Louis J. Borstelmann, a California senior citizen who swindled “elderly and retired” investors in Oregon and elsewhere in an $18 million Ponzi scheme, has been sentenced in Oregon to 108 months in federal prison, prosecutors said.

Borstelmann is 69. Most of his victims resided in the area of Florence, Ore., although others hailed from Hawaii, Montana and Texas, the office of U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton of the District or Oregon said.

“Borstelmann wreaked havoc on his victims — mostly older folks — stealing their retirement funds, their homes, even the nest eggs they’d set aside for their grandkids’ education,” said Holton. “We can’t get all the money back, but at least we can achieve some measure of justice — and let other con artists know that we will hold them accountable and send them to prison.”

Not only did the victims suffer financial abuse, they also suffered emotional abuse, the region’s top IRS investigator said.

“Hopefully, this prosecution provides them with some peace of mind in knowing that their suffering did not fall on deaf ears,” said Marcus Williams, special agent in charge of IRS Criminal Investigation for the Pacific Northwest.

He was backed by a top FBI agent.

“Borstelmann stole more than money from these vulnerable victims — he stole their hopes for the future,” said Alan J. Peters, acting special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “These families worked their whole lives to be able to put their kids through college and have a safe, comfortable retirement. Now that is gone.”

Borstelmann  ran a real-estate Ponzi through a California company known as Sunburst Associates Inc., prosecutors said.

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