Because these kinds of stories often drift off into inaccessible archives, I'll note a few bits and pieces:
Former Pasco man gets 9 years, 1 month for fraud
A former Pasco businessman who defrauded 1,339 people out of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme was described by friends and family as an "honest and moral man."
Federal prosecutors, however, described Christensen's "debt elimination program" as a "complex, sophisticated and unscrupulous fraud scheme against a large class of vulnerable victims, seeking relief from debt in difficult economic times," court documents said.
In all, victims in 19 states lost more than $3.2 million that Christensen pocketed for personal use after paying off the loans of some "clients," whom he then recruited to sell the program to family and friends, prosecutors said.
Christensen, 35, had been indicted on 162 federal charges for the investment fraud scheme. He pleaded guilty in April to eight counts each of money laundering and mail fraud, with the agreement the remaining 146 counts would be dismissed at sentencing.
Christensen was sentenced in federal court in Yakima to nine years and one month in prison and ordered to pay more than $3.2 million in restitution.
He also must pay $1,600 in court fees -- $100 for each charge -- and will be under court supervision for three years after release, officials said.
Christensen created six businesses under the guise of helping consumers eliminate debt and restore their credit for a fee ...
He used the company names OmniScience Consulting, Contented Services Inc., Family Financial Network Inc., Controlled Options Inc., Inertia International and The Alliance Inc., and solicited victims on websites such as NoMoreDebt.tv.
Customers paid $2,500 to nearly $21,000 in advance fees after being promised his program was "100 percent successful," the U.S. Attorney's office said.
He also recruited consultants -- including past customers -- to promote his program and paid them commissions.