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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Nevada Man Sentenced To Nearly 10 Years In Prison In Fraud Scheme Targeting Chiropractors Who Developed Pain-Relieving Back Brace

SANTA ANA, California – A Nevada man who was already serving seven years in federal prison for running an investment scheme has received a second sentence of nearly 10 years for defrauding the inventors of a back brace device called the “Gorillaback.”

Jonathan Glen Turner, 40, of Las Vegas, was sentenced to 115 months in federal prison late yesterday by United States District Judge James V. Selna. In addition to the prison term of almost 10 years – which will run consecutive to an 84-month sentence Turner received in May 2014 – Judge Selna ordered the defendant to pay $229,500 in restitution.

Following a three-week trial in August 2013 in which he represented himself, Turner was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of committing a felony while on pre-trial release. The evidence at trial showed that Turner, while free on bond in the earlier investment fraud case, befriended a Las Vegas chiropractor who had invented the Gorillaback device. Turner advised the inventor that he had been in the sales business and could sell the Gorillaback product. Turner, the chiropractor, and the chiropractor’s wife then formed a company – Products International – to manufacture and sell the back brace.

However, Turner made no effort to sell the device. He instead created fraudulent purchase orders to create the false impression that more than 10,000 Gorillabacks had been ordered and sold. Turner concealed the fact that he did not have the means to manufacture the device and there were no actual buyers.

Turner persuaded the victims to obtain investment money from their family and friends to have the “pre-sold” devices manufactured. Between March 2011 and January 2012, four additional victims in Orange County invested to have the devices manufactured, for a total loss to all victims of approximately $229,500.

Instead of using the money to manufacture Gorillabacks, Turner deposited the funds into bank accounts under his control and used the money for his personal use. Turner was arrested in this case in April 2012 and has been held without bond since that time.

While conducting the fraud involving the Gorillaback device, Turner was pending trial in another fraud that cost victims $2.6 million. Turner went to trial in that case in October 2012 and was convicted by a jury of two counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud. He was sentenced in May 2014 (see: http://www.fbi.gov/losangeles/press-releases/2014/las-vegas-man-sentenced-to-more-than-seven-years-in-fraud-scheme-that-caused-orange-county-victims-to-lose-more-than-1-million).

Both cases against Turner were the product of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Release No. 15-012

Updated June 22, 2015