47-year-old Salem resident Paul Gierten has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for federal fraud charges. Gierten must also pay $38,300 in restitution to his victim, who is a military veteran in his 80s. Gierten was an investment advisor in Centralia at the time, and the victim was one of his clients.
In August of 2009, Gierten told the man that he had an investment opportunity with a business that assisted military victims. Because he is a military veteran himself, the victim agreed to invest with this business. From August 2009, through March 2011, the victim provided a total of $39,000 to Gierten for investment in this company. Gierten did not invest the victim’s funds as promised. Instead, Gierten used the victim’s funds for his own personal expenses and to pay operating expenses of his own business.
The case was investigated by the Securities Department of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.