A former Reno attorney was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for stealing $800,000 from at least seven Carson city residents.
Frank James Jacques, 45, of Carson City, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft in July of 2000 in exchange for his plea that federal charges pending against him would not be pursued.
Jacques received large sums of money from people telling them he would purchase items from bankruptcy at 10 cents on the dollar and make a huge profit. Instead, the prosecution said, Jacques had no intention of investing any money.
One man testified he gave Jacques $407,612 and only received $53,000 back.
"He's taken our retirement nest egg," he said.
Another man said the same thing about the $174,500 Jacques admits taking from him.
"This man has trouble telling the truth," he said. "I was a year away from 65 and had just liquidated some real estate. I was going to pay off my home and retire. Instead I had to refinance and I'm still working."
Another victim who lost $53,000 to Jacques asked the judge to sentence him to the maximum.
"I'd like to see the man get 25 years. My son didn't get to go to college because of this," he said.
Jacques, in asking for probation, told Judge Michael Griffin after he had finished his parole on the first charge to which he was sent to prison, he had no intention of taking money from anyone. He just failed at a business and needed the cash to keep it going.
"But everybody was calling me at the same time and wanting all of their money right then," he recalled. "I was trying to pay them."
Jacques said with the recent purchase of four oil wells in Waco, Texas, he has the potential to make enough money to pay $5,000 a month toward the $800,000 in restitution he must repay.
Before he could finish, Griffin cut him short.
"No sir. You have no regard for the truth. Under no way in God's green earth could you have delivered the kind of interest you promised. You have no regard for (the victims) as people," he said.
Jacques was given credit for 453 days time served in jail.
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