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Eau Claire mortgage broker ordered to pay $444K

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — An Eau Claire mortgage broker convicted of 47 securities-related crimes has been ordered to repay $444,000 to the victims.

John Torgerson, as president of Preferred Acceptance Co., was accused of issuing financial notes to a large number of investors without having proper information filed with the state and misled investors about those securities, according to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

The 65-year-old was sentenced in March to four years in prison and two years of extended supervision.

Eau Claire County Judge Michael Schumacher set restitution at $444,000 on Friday.

“I expect the money to be repaid,” District Attorney Gary King said after the hearing. “He took it. He should pay it back, and any cent that’s available to these victims ought to be paid. Period.”

Defense attorney Matthew Krische argued during the hearing that Torgerson didn’t have the means or the potential to repay such a sum.

“The number we’re talking about here, I just don’t think in any way, shape or form is feasible,” Krische said.

Krische noted that Torgerson filed bankruptcy in 2010, the companies he once owned have been liquidated and he has no prospect of landing a job in his area of expertise after he gets out of prison at nearly 70 years old with a felony record.

As a condition of his supervision, Torgerson cannot engage in an occupation in which he handles or invests other people’s money.

Torgerson is a former member of the county board and former official in Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson’s administration.

Several of Torgerson’s victims attended Friday’s hearing, but they declined to comment about Schumacher’s ruling.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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