ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - United States Attorney Michael W. Reap announced today that Don C. Weir was sentenced to 78 months in prison for defrauding his investors of more than $10 million.
Weir sold his investors' assets to fund his life style.
"It is a tragedy that in these economic times, the victims trusted Mr. Weir with their life savings," said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in St. Louis. "The FBI along with our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue corporate executives who abuse their positions of trust for personal gain."
In addition to time in prison, Weir was ordered to pay $12,112,058 in restitution.
"While this sentencing brings a certain measure of justice to the victims, the Postal Inspection Service will continue to seek assets for forfeiture in an attempt to make them financially whole," said JR Ball, Assistant Inspector in Charge for the St. Louis Field Office of the Postal Inspection Service.
As an investment advisor, Weir advised clients to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities and other securities, and was paid a commission for the security purchases he made on their behalf. In some cases, Weir was paid a management fee based upon the assets he held under management for a particular client.
In 1999, Weir recommended that a number of clients invest in gold coins, paper currency, and other precious metal. Many of Weir's clients followed his advice and gave Weir permission to purchase these items for their accounts. After the purchases were made, the items were either held by Weir in the basement of his residence on Chatsworth Place in Chesterfield, MO, or by Pacific-Atlantic Coin located in Los Angeles, California.
In 2000 and continuing until September 11, 2008, Weir sold his clients' precious metals, currency and coins without their authorization. Weir hid these unauthorized sales by mailing fake statements to the clients that represented he still held their items and that their investments had appreciated in value.
Weir used the proceeds of the sales to fund his lifestyle and paid his five children's tuition to Westminister Christian Academy High School and their respective college tuitions. Weir also spent some of the money to make improvements to his home, which included the installation of a pool and kitchen upgrades. In addition to home upgrades, Weir used the money to buy Korean War collectibles and baseball memorabilia.
Weir, 56-years-old, plead guilty in February to one felony count of mail fraud, and agreed to a money judgment amounting $13,715,219, which represented property derived from his illegal purchases.