Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Investment salesmen given prison time

TAMPA — Four men were sentenced to federal prison Friday for their part in the fraud scheme led by boy-band impresario Lou Pearlman.

Michael J. Crudele, 50, of Lithia; Steven B. Rodd, 45, of Tampa; William P. Kress, 55, of Largo; Gary V. Leone, 58, of Valrico, had all been barred from selling unregistered securities in Florida when they began selling Transcontinental Airlines Inc. Employee Investment Savings Account.

The investment was ultimately a fraud orchestrated by Pearlman, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa said.

Pearlman, founder of the 1990s boy bands Backstreet Boys and N'Sync, pleaded guilty in 2008 to making up the security to be traded as a part of a Ponzi scheme. He is serving a 25-year term in federal prison.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence to show the four Tampa-area defendants knew the security was a fraud, but they admitted to not telling clients they were unlicensed, banned and that the investment was under state investigation.

Together, they brought in $35 million from more than 350 investors. Crudele, Rodd and Kress were sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay tens of millions in restitution to defrauded investors. Leone was sentenced to 26 months in prison and ordered to pay $663,408 to defrauded investors. The judge also ordered all four men to forfeit proceeds valued at $5.46 million.

Investment salesmen given prison time 12/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 9, 2011 8:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday


    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102