Danville Express

Newsfront - March 16, 2007

Federal charges filed against Danville man

Investors say they gave millions toward investment scheme

by Jordan M. Doronila

Federal prosecutors charged a Danville businessman William Frances "Bill" Reimers on Monday with allegedly taking millions of dollars from investors but never investing their money, they said.

Reimers told potential investors various lies to get them to invest their money with him, according to the charges. He was charged with six counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.

The maximum penalty for each count of mail fraud is 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. The maximum penalty for the money laundering count is also 20 years of imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.

"We hope he goes to jail for a long time," said David Coombs, a Danville resident who said he and about 25 other individuals lost $10 million to $15 million from his investment scheme. "We don't care to ever see him again." Coombs said his family had been good friends with Reimer and his wife.

Reimers allegedly told potential investors that he had developed a "regression analysis program" that could predict when mutual fund values would rise and fall. He guaranteed them that their investments would earn at least 9 percent profit and told them he followed a conservative financial strategy through his investment company, the Advisory Services Group (ASG).

However, he never invested his clients' money, charges said.

Reimers diverted investor funds to support other businesses, which he controlled, prosecutors said. Among companies he owned were Plan Compliance Group (PCG) and Univest Capital Management (UCM).

PCG handled third-party administration for school employees. UCM dealt with insurance for federal government employees. Prosecutors said Reimers invested money from his ASG clients to fund his other two companies.

Reimers allegedly used the cash flow from UCM and PCG to pay monthly dividends to his clients' investments and cash out customers who asked to close their accounts.

By 2005, this scheme had resulted in millions of dollars of losses, charges said.

Reimers used his client's money to remodel his house and give his daughter an extravagant wedding at Diablo Country Club, said Coombs. Additionally, he noted that Reimers used it to pay for trips to South America, Africa and Europe. He also used it to pay for his wife's spa sessions in Mexico, Coombs said.

Much of the money taken was from retirement and pension accounts, Coombs said.

"He definitely was living the good life," he said. "He simply used our money to live on."

He added that Reimers made a significant contribution to the Tao House.

"The money never got to where it was supposed to go," he added. "Most of us believe there's nothing left for us."

Reimers is currently in North Carolina and is not in custody at this time. His court appearance has not been scheduled, said Luke MacAulay, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Oakland.

Contact Jordan M. Doronila at jdoronila@DanvilleWeekly.com


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