BRIEF: Businessman pleads guilty to wire fraud charges
Mar 23, 2012 (The Buffalo News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A Williamsville businessman pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretney on Thursday to wire fraud charges.
Keith Furman, 44, admitted cheating investors in a phony digital advertising firm out of almost $200,000 and fraudulently selling telephones on eBay, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said.
Furman ran his fake ad agency, Digital Ad, from 2009 through early 2010 and received about $190,000 from investors by claiming he would use the money to buy digital advertising screens that would be installed in shopping malls. He spent some funds on such screens but used the bulk of it for living expenses and for other businesses he was running, Hochul said.
As part of his plea, Furman also admitted he fraudulently marketed Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, telephones, collecting more than $25,000 in orders on eBay in December 2010 under the name of Oceana Matrix. He could not fulfill the orders because he did not have the phones he was offering for sale, prosecutors said.
Furman faces up to 20 years in prison and a$250,000 fine, or both, when he is sentenced June 29.
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