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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Financial Fraud Leads to Prison Sentence

Victims Lost More Than $6 Million

ATLANTA - Robert A. Gist, 66, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced to five years of imprisonment for mail fraud in connection with his investment fraud scheme that stole $6.8 million.

"People entrust investment advisors with their life’s savings -- funds that are critical for retirement or their children’s education -- and the sad truth is that there are crooks like Gist who steal these funds for their own benefit.  We encourage investors to thoroughly check out investment opportunities and credentials before entrusting their savings to anyone," said U.S. Attorney John Horn.

David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said: "The sentencing of Mr. Gist in federal court holds him fully accountable for his criminal actions.  The FBI hopes that, in addition to the prison sentence handed down today as part of this sentencing, the many victims of this extensive financial fraud scheme are provided some degree of solace."

According to United States Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Gist was a registered broker who controlled the investment firm, Gist, Kennedy & Associates and had more than 30 clients who invested more than $6.8 million with him.  Gist obtained investment funds from his clients by misrepresenting that he would make certain conservative investments for them in corporate bonds and other securities, but instead took the funds from his clients and used them for personal expenses, to fund the operations of ENCAP Technologies (an industrial coating company), and to pay other clients purported dividends and proceeds from the investments he falsely claimed to have made for those other clients.  Gist perpetrated the fraud by preparing and mailing false account statements to his clients that falsely showed the conservative investments and returns he was supposed to make but never did.  The victims lost all of their investments.

Gist has been sentenced to 5 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,803,260.  Gist was on these charges on August 30, 2016, after he pleaded guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Considerable assistance was provided by the Atlanta office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Huber prosecuted the case.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants.  For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.”

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Updated December 20, 2016