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Florida Man Sentenced to Federal Prison Time for Fraud

SIGTARP Florida FraudA Florida man has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for a fraud scheme perpetrated against businesses and individuals seeking lines of credit, according to an announcement from Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).

The sentence was handed down to Leigh Farrington Fiske, 51, of Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday, December 10, according to the announcement from SIGTARP and Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, and David J. Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Francisco Field Office. Fiske was charged on November 21, 2013, on five counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. He pleaded guilty to all five counts of wire fraud on June 11, 2014, and the conspiracy charge was dropped as part of his plea agreement.

In addition to being sentenced to prison time, Fiske was ordered to pay restitution to the victims of the scam, according to SIGTARP's announcement. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Edward M. Chen, U.S. District Court Judge, who also sentenced Fiske to a three-year period of supervised release along with paying restitution.

Fiske and his partner, Michael Ramdat, operated a business called Corporate Funding solutions, the purported purpose of which was to obtain lines of credit for customers who paid a fee, according to the plea agreement. Fiske solicited customers for the business via the Internet and word of mouth, but according to the plea agreement, the two men never intended to offer any services for the fees collected. The two men collected about $433,000 from approximately 30 victims without obtaining lines of credit for them or providing any services at all.

In the plea agreement, Fiske admitted to keeping $102,000 of the money for himself and giving the rest of it to Ramdat, who is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Chen on Wednesday, December 17. Fiske will begin serving his prison sentence on March 31, 2015.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.
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