Elderly couple to stand trial for stealing millions

ESCONDIDO — A Vista Superior Court judge on Dec. 9 found enough evidence to order an elderly couple to stand trial in connection with defrauding San Diegans of more than $1 million.
Following the nearly weeklong preliminary hearing, Judge Joel Pressman ordered Janet Reiswig, 65, and her 72-year-old husband, Ronald Reiswig, to stand trial on 92 counts each of security law violations.
The Reiswigs are charged with 38 counts of selling unqualified securities, 37 counts of false statements in connection with the sale of securities and 17 counts of theft from elders, all felonies.
If convicted, the Escondido couple, who are currently serving an 11-year sentence in Orange County from a felony fraud conviction earlier this year, face more than 95 years in prison, Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn said outside the courtroom.
The Reiswigs’ next court appearance is a Dec. 23 arraignment, at which time a trial date may be set.
One by one 37 witnesses, 17 of whom are 65 years or older, testified about their brief meetings with Janet Reiswig at the couple’s offices in University Town Center and Rancho Bernardo. The witnesses testified they were responding to an ad posted in the San Diego Union-Tribune by the Reiswig’s company, U.S. America, for Certificates of Deposit or CD insured under FDIC.
Prosecutors allege the couple stole more than $1.9 million from August 2006 to July 2007 through their two nonprofit businesses, U.S. America and Global Reserve, BJ.
“These victims’ money are what the Reiswigs were living on for these 11 months,” Winn said in her closing statement to the court.
Ronald Reiswig’s attorney, Jo Super, argued that there was a lack of evidence to prove her client’s knowledge of the scheme.
There was no positive identification of Ronald Reiswig by any of the victims.
But Winn argued that Ronald Reiswig played an “integral part” behind the scenes, as well as endorsed and cashed checks scammed from the victims.
Janet Reiswig, who is representing herself, waived her closing statement. She also didn’t cross-examine any of the victims.