Two Sentenced to Prison in More Than $7.2 Million in Fraud Scheme
ORLANDO, FL—U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron today sentenced Brian Newton (58, New Smyrna Beach) and Victoria Snow (55, Clearwater) for their role in defrauding more than 60 victims out of over $7.2 million. Newton was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in federal prison, and Snow was sentenced to four years and nine months’ imprisonment. They were both ordered to pay more than $7.2 million in restitution. A federal jury convicted Newton and Snow on July 20, 2015.
According to 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 by 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 more than $8 million from over 60 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 more than $7.2 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.