Press Releases

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2009 Contact: Charles Evenson

Former Franksville Resident Boechler Sentenced for Investment Fraud

(Madison) DFI Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann has announced the June 18, 2009 sentencing of Duane Boechler, a 52-year-old who last resided in Franksville, Wisconsin, in connection with an investment fraud scheme. Mr. Boechler pled guilty on March 19, 2009, in US Eastern District Court in Milwaukee to bank fraud, wire fraud, and the structuring of postal money orders, all in furtherance of the fraudulent scheme described in the federal indictment.

In that scheme, Boechler defrauded 27 victims (individuals and couples) and caused losses of more than $6,200,000. Boechler, who had worked for years as an investment advisor, convinced the victims to give him large amounts of money totaling more than $8,000,000 to invest in various business entities he controlled. Boechler did not inform the victims that he was no longer licensed to sell securities or that he had state tax liens filed against him. Boechler promised high rates of return and informed the victims that their investments were secured in various ways.

In fact, the money that the victims thought was being invested in Mr. Boechler’s business entities was not being invested at all, and those entities conducted no business other than serving as vehicles for the receipt and disbursement of the victims’ money. Instead of being invested, the victims’ money was spent in a variety of other ways which were not authorized by the victims. They included payment of the personal expenses of Boechler and his family, the acquisition of assets for the benefit of Boechler and his family, and the payment of funds from victims to other victims to make it appear that the defendant and his business entities were paying the promised interest from investments when, in fact, the payments came from funds from new victims.

These purported interest payments prevented discovery of the scheme and encouraged additional “investments” from victims, but could not be sustained without securing new victims or new money from existing victims. Those are all characteristics of so-called Ponzi schemes.

At sentencing, a 93-year-old victim told the court Boechler tore her heart out when she had to sell her home after he convinced her to get a loan on it to invest with him and he stopped making payments to her. Another victim in her late 80s said Boechler took everything of hers of monetary value causing her and her husband who requires around the clock care to be living on the edge. The son of one of his victims described Boechler as a serial rapist who violated all of his victims.

United States District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller sentenced Boechler to 15 years of incarceration, to be followed by five years of supervised release. He also ordered Boechler to pay the victims a total of $6,212,960.57 in restitution. This case was investigated by examiners from the Division of Securities of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mel S. Johnson.