A former Indiana resident convicted of bilking nearly $1 million from investors has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in federal prison. The office of United States Attorney Josh Minkler says Larry Westby, who has pleaded guilty to charges that include wire and securities fraud, made bogus claims about the financial shape of his respiratory therapy business.
Among others false statements, Westby told potential investors he was going to sell the business for $36.5 million in order to drive up interest in buying stock. The supposed buyer of LMW Inc., Global Spot, was a sham entity. He used the funds to buy two vehicles, repay a personal loan and credit card bills and purchase a vintage basketball court for his home.
Minkler says "perpetrators of fraud crimes not only jeopardize their victims’ financial security, but they also rob their victims of the trust they once had in their own judgment and in others. When a person or business intentionally deceives Indiana investors with promises of financial benefits that do not exist, were never intended to be provided, or were misrepresented, they will be prosecuted by this office to the fullest extent of the law."
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Indiana Secretary of State. In addition to his prison sentence, Westby must make restitution of more than $985,000 and be on three years of supervised release once he leaves prison.