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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 29, 2021

Fraudster Sentenced for $400,000 Motorized Surfboard Scam

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Palm Bay, Florida man was sentenced today to six years in prison for an investment fraud scheme involving the supposed production and sale of motorized surfboards.

According to court documents, Roberto Clark, 50, previously a resident of Bethesda, Maryland, operated a scheme to defraud small investors in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. As part of the scheme, Clark falsely promised that the investments made with Clark’s company, KRM Services, would go toward manufacturing “Jetboards” for resale to third parties at substantial profits. Instead, Clark spent the money on maintaining his lavish lifestyle.

To execute the scheme, Clark falsified sales contracts with cruise lines and water sports companies; forged signatures and notary stamps; fabricated emails from supposed buyers of the Jetboards; and falsified a patent report so that it would appear he could obtain a patent on the Jetboard. He provided all of this false information to investors to convince them to invest in KRM Services. In reality, Clark had purchased a Chinese-made motorized surfboard that had serious mechanical and design problems and never properly functioned. Clark never sold a single surfboard to any buyer.

Clark primarily defrauded small investors, including people he met socially in local restaurants and bars. He maxed out one victim’s personal credit card on Christmas Eve so that she could not buy her daughter a present or travel to see family. According to court documents, Clark stole more than $400,000 from 14 victims between 2016 and 2019, causing substantial financial hardship to a number of them.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division; Matthew S. Miller, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office; and Michael L. Brown, Alexandria Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III. The Fairfax County Police Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission also provided assistance in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell L. Carlberg and Kimberly Riley Pedersen prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-332.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Press Officer USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated January 29, 2021