Man Accused of Bilking Investors is Sentenced

Man Accused of Bilking Investors is Sentenced

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- A Smithfield man accused of bilking 68 Cache County investors of $9.8 million has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to prison.

The prison sentence was stayed pending a 60-day diagnostic evaluation at the prison.

Paul Douglas Jensen, 51, pleaded guilty Monday to 64 counts of second-degree felony communications fraud, four counts of third-degree felony communications fraud and one second-degree felony count of issuing a bad check. As part of a plea agreement, 154 other counts of communications fraud were dismissed.

Jensen admitted on the witness stand Monday that he purposely falsified his clients' investment statements to reflect an increase in funds, when money actually was being lost.

Most of the money was lost through his investment firm called Interactive Brokers, which he ran out of his home. The company had no connection to Interactive Brokers LLC, a Connecticut-based electronic brokerage firm.

Jensen also admitted writing a check to a client for $3.3 million, knowing the check would bounce.

First District Court Judge Gordon J. Low sentenced Jensen to one to 15 years in prison on each of the second-degree felony communications fraud counts and up to five years in prison on the third-degree felony charges of communications fraud. Those terms will be served concurrently. He sentenced Jensen to one to 15 years on the bad-check charge, to run consecutive to the other sentences.

Following Jensen's 60-day evaluation, victims will be allowed to make statements in court before execution of the sentence is ordered.

In a second case against Jensen, five counts of identity fraud were dismissed, though restitution owed to the victim in that case will be added to the total of the communications fraud case.

Jensen is scheduled to be back in court April 26 for a review hearing.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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