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Business Observer Monday, Mar. 19, 2018 6 months ago

Wire fraud lands former tech exec in prison

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Timothy Roberts must also pay millions of dollars in restitution to his victims.

TAMPA — The former head of a now-defunct tech firm that had been based in Ybor City is heading to prison for nearly seven years for his role in a wire fraud scheme.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich sentenced 57-year-old Timothy Roberts, a resident of Missouri, to six years and eight months  in a federal penitentiary for defrauding investors in Savtira Corporation Inc., which produced an online, cloud-based shopping platform.

Roberts pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges in January 2017.

Roberts and his co-defendant, former Savtira CFO Terrance Taylor, both admitted to making false claims and promises to investors in the company. According to a press release, they also admitted to inflating the value of the tech firm to be between $450 million and $540 million. Roberts and Taylor also misused and misappropriated investor funds for personal expenses and made cash withdrawals without the investors’ consent, the release states.

Taylor pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Dec. 17, 2017, to five years in federal prison.

As part of the sentence handed down by Kovachevich, Roberts must also pay nearly $5.88 million in restitution to his victims.

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