News and Press Releases


October 28, 2005

RICHARD THOMAS ZIESKE, 43, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced to 41 months in prison in Federal Court in Seattle today for Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud and Securities Fraud in connection with a scheme that defrauded more than 50 local investors of $1.4 million. In asking the court for a sentence of nearly four years in prison, Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Dohrmann noted ZIESKE's "greed and the desire for quick money brought about great personal and financial suffering to the victims in this case." U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman set a restitution hearing for November 29, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. At that hearing, the government will seek a restitution order of approximately $1.4 million.

According to a 59 count indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury in August 2004, ZIESKE held himself out to investors as a successful day-trader who would be able to generate significant returns in short periods of time. However, ZIESKE was not, in fact, a successful day-trader and was never licensed or authorized to sell securities. He was not registered as a financial advisor with the State of Washington and the securities that ZIESKE sold also were not registered with the State of Washington.

Beginning in 1999 and continuing into June 2002, ZIESKE solicited investments in various interests he controlled, namely, TGrace E-DAT, Inc, Grace E-Dat02 LP (a limited partnership) and Grace Capital Investments LLC, (a limited liability company). Overall, ZIESKE obtained a total of approximately $2,294,922. ZIESKE continually told investors that he had made substantial gains day-trading in stocks, when in fact he had suffered significant losses. Many of the investors were solicited at ZIESKE's church, Christian Faith Center in Burien.

In order to continue day-trading in the face of continual losses he was incurring, ZIESKE needed more and more money. He needed new investment funds to pay earlier investors in order to lull these and new investors into believing that his day-trading activities were profitable. ZIESKE also used investor money for his personal expenses.

At sentencing today several victims told the court how they had been repeatedly deceived by the defendant and lost tens of thousands of dollars.
The case was investigated by Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Dohrmann.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie with the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.

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