Franklin Man Sentenced In Bank Bailout Fraud Case - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Franklin Man Sentenced In Bank Bailout Fraud Case

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A former financial adviser was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $6.1 million for bilking clients in the first fraud case related to the federal bank bailout program.

Gordon B. Grigg, 46, of Franklin was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger for four counts of mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud.

"He has wreaked incredible havoc," said Judge Trauger.

Prosecutors said that last year, Grigg began falsely claiming that his firm, ProTrust Management Inc., could invest clients' money in government-guaranteed debt as part of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Eight of the alleged 27 victims had a chance to tell their stories to Judge Trauger.

A victim from Roswell, Georgia said he faces the possibility of bankruptcy. A woman from Franklin told the judge, I feel like a fool for not seeing through him. A man who lives in Valdez, North Carolina explained, I had to tell my son I lost all our money. 

"She was angry. I think she listened to the victims and looked us in the eye. I know she did with me, and she saw we were real people and these were real painful stories," said victim Steve Wieland.

During the hearing, Grigg turned and faced many of his clients in the courtroom and apologized for preying on his victims during the economic crisis. "I am sorry. What they said is right. I did steal their money. I did take advantage of their emotions. I just wanted to say I am sorry."

"He turned around and slumped over and ‘I'm sorry, I did what, I did' - awe bite me," said victim Branko Lukich. "I'm happy. 10 years, good for him."
Investors Swindled Will Have Voices Heard In Court Thursday

In a plea agreement in April, Grigg pleaded guilty to the eight counts. The criminal charges were the first filed through TARP's inspector general's office.

Judge Trauger actually gave Grigg a sentence two years above the normal guidelines. Trauger also ordered Grigg to pay back $6.1 million to the victims. When he does get out of jail 20 percent of Grigg's salary will go towards restitution.

The ten years in federal prison does not come with the possibility of parole.

"The man deserves nothing but 10 hard years in prison," said Wieland.

Grigg was supposed to be on house arrest until he goes to prison on September 7, but where he was staying did not have a land-line phone so they could not connect the electronic monitoring device. He's in federal custody until that problem is solved.

(The Associated Press Contributed To The Story)

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