Tampa Man Sentenced To Over Three Years In Prison For Fraudulently Using Federal GSA Smartpay Account Numbers
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Brian Newton (57, Port Orange) and Victoria Snow (55, Clearwater) guilty of 1 count of conspiracy, 13 counts of mail fraud, and 11 counts of wire fraud. Each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each count. Sentencing has been set for October 9, 2015.
Newton and Snow were charged by indictment on April 2, 2014.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Newton and Snow worked on behalf of Dataforce International, Inc. Beginning in 2003, Dataforce had a contract to “factor” its invoices at Amerifactors Financial Group. “Factoring” is a financial transaction in which a business sells its accounts receivables, such as invoices, to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. Accounts receivable are created when a business performs services or sells goods to a client. The factor provides financing to the seller of the invoice in the form of an advance. Once an invoice has been factored by a business, the business will typically arrange to have the client pay the third party factor directly.
In 2003, Newton and a business partner established a factor by the name of Prestige Funding. To fund its factoring, Prestige Funding solicited investors. In total, the company raised over $8 million from over 50 investors to be used to factor invoices.
As part of their scheme, Newton and Snow submitted a series of invoices for factoring to Amerifactors that were inflated and that did not reflect work that had been performed by Dataforce. In addition, the two engaged in “double factoring,” which involved submitting the same Dataforce invoices for factoring to both Amerifactors and Prestige Funding. By executing this scheme, Newton and Snow were able to defraud Amerifactors, Prestige Funding, and the investors of Prestige Funding out of over $6 million. Of that amount, Newton diverted over $3 million into his personal bank account.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.