ATLANTA -- United States District Judge Steve C. Jones sentenced Thomas Preston O'Berry to two years in federal prison on charges of wire fraud on Thursday.
O'Berry previously scammed investors out over $2.4 million in a Ponzi scheme. His two years spent behind bars will be followed by three years of supervised release, and an order to pay restitution of almost $922,000, according to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
"This defendant preyed upon individuals who trusted him to be honest and ethical, and led them to invest millions of dollars in a bogus company. As the sentence reflects, investment schemes that defraud our hard working citizens are serious crimes," Yates said.
Also according to Yates, O'Berry solicited people to invest in his software consulting business named "MoGo Consulting LLC" that he fraudulently represented provided software implementation and consulting services by contracting with client companies and hiring independent contractors to perform the service.
O'Berry represented to two potential investors, who were a father and son, that MoGo needed investor assistance to overcome a cash flow problem it was experiencing. As a result, the victim investors agreed to pay $10,000 for each purported consultant contract, and O'Berry promised to pay $1,000 per month to each investor for the duration of each contract.
O'Berry promised that upon completion of each contract the entire $10,000 initial investment would be returned to the original investors. O'Berry never secured any clients or contracts for MoGo.
Instead, O'Berry fabricated a total of 245 consultant contracts and convinced one victim to loan the company an additional $30,000, causing the victims to jointly invest a total of $2,480,000 in a fictitious business with a supposed cash flow problem.
O'Berry was able to keep the scheme alive for over two years by making partial payments to the victim-investors. The victims lost nearly $1,000,000 which O'Berry had stolen for his own use.