Former Founder And President Of Tampa Start-Up Company Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Timothy Roberts (46, Missouri) has pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Roberts was the founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of the now-defunct Savtira Corporation, Inc., a technology company that was headquartered in Ybor City. As CEO and Chairman of the Board, Roberts solicited investors for Savtira, had control over the company’s funds, and was responsible for overseeing the sale of its products to potential customers.
Starting in or around November 2010, Roberts and Terrance F. Taylor, Savtira’s CFO, devised and carried out a scheme to defraud and obtain money and property by making false promises and representations. In particular, they distributed and caused to be distributed to investors a draft valuation of the company that indicated Savtira was worth between $450 million and $540 million when, in fact, the company had little, if any, revenues. Roberts also failed to disclose to all investors that he had entered into a prior judgment with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for violating the securities laws of the United States. Roberts and Taylor also made false statements to investors about the use of investor funds, some of which were diverted by the defendants for personal use.
Roberts and Taylor were previously indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. Taylor is currently set for trial in April 2017.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mandy Riedel.