Bay Area CEO Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud Scheme
SAN FRANCISCO – Bay Area executive and Croatian national Renato Libric, the former Chief Executive Officer of Bouxtie, Inc., pleaded guilty this afternoon to wire fraud charges related to a $1.5 million investment fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The plea was accepted by the Honorable Maxine M. Chesney, U.S. District Judge.
According to the plea agreement, Libric, 39, a resident of Redwood City, Calif., admitted that from August 2017 through February 2018, he devised and carried out a scheme to defraud potential investors in Bouxtie, Inc., a Delaware corporation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Libric admitted that an essential purpose of the scheme was to overstate the financial condition and prospects of Bouxtie, and to induce potential investors to believe Libric had authority to sell shares in Bouxtie to investors.
Libric took multiple steps to convince members of a Las Vegas-based company to invest over a million dollars in Bouxtie. As part of the scheme, Libric fraudulently suggested to representatives of the potential investors that a large publicly-traded corporation was interested in purchasing Bouxtie at a price of $150 million. To bolster this claim, Libric fraudulently placed the signature of an executive with the alleged purchasing corporation on a forged Term Sheet that purported to indicate the large corporation was interested in the purchase of Bouxtie. In addition, Libric caused the falsified Term Sheet and a falsified bank statement to be transmitted to potential investors. The false bank statement suggested Bouxtie had a balance of over $2,000,000 in an account when, in fact, there was only $7,642.82 in the account. Furthermore, Libric placed the signatures of members of Bouxtie’s Board of Directors on a document that purported to authorize Libric to enter into agreements pursuant to which the investors would lend $1.5 million to Bouxtie and that the loan eventually would be converted into shares of Bouxtie.
As a result of his scheme, Libric convinced investors to transfer $1.5 million into accounts belonging to Bouxtie. Further, after the $1.5 million was deposited, Libric withdrew more than $130,000 of the invested funds from an account and put the funds into his own checking account.
On May 10, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Libric, charging him with one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and 2. Today, Libric pleaded guilty to the charge and agreed to make restitution to the victims for their losses.
Judge Chesney scheduled Libric’s sentencing for November 28, 2018. The maximum statutory penalties for wire fraud are 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release. Additional fines, forfeitures, restitution, and special assessments also may be imposed. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew McCarthy is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Bridget Kilkenny. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.