On Monday, May 14, 2018, it was announced that a 48-year-old Renton man had been sentenced to eight years in prison for eight federal felonies. The defendant, Richard Thomas Zieske, was previously convicted of federal fraud charges for defrauding members of his church and others out of more than $1.2 million while posing as an investment advisor.
Last February, the defendant was convicted of a similar scheme to defraud victims he met through a martial arts studio. Ultimately, Zieske was convicted of five counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Records filed in the case and trial testimony in 2013 showed the Zieske overheard a member of a Renton martial arts studio talking about his 401k account.
The victim was previously forced to retire and had to limit his martial arts due to a neck condition. The defendant convinced the victim to allow him to manage his retirement funds, which were more than $95,000. He promised big returns. In reality, Zieske used the money for personal purposes, including buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle, to finance a luxury SUV and for liposuction surgery.
Zeiske also attempted to lure in other investors. He convinced the founder of the martial arts studio to invest $50,000 with him. In 2005, the defendant pleaded guilty to mail fraud, securities fraud and wire fraud. He was sentenced to 41 months in prison. Zeiske’s prior conduct caused a brokerage firm to close his trading account. He then opened another account using the identity of another member of the martial arts studio.
Again, 48-year-old Richard Thomas Zieske has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Further details have been made available here.