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2½ Years for Crooked CEO

SAN DIEGO (CN) - The CEO of a Florida software company was sentenced Monday to 30 months in federal prison for wire fraud: manipulating the share price of his company, iTrackr Systems.

John G. Rizzo, 51, of Boca Raton, used offshore boiler rooms to push shares in iTrackr, and didn't tell his suckers that the telemarketers would get 80 percent of the money they invested, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Rizzo also was ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution.

"Rizzo sold millions of shares of iTrackr stock through his BVI [British Virgin Islands] company in order to avoid U.S. securities registration requirements and disguise the fact that almost all the investor funds were being diverted to the boiler rooms," the U.S. attorney said in a statement. "In addition, Rizzo used a complex array of different entities to conceal the fact that he was the one selling the shares, rather than the shares being sold by independent third-party investors. One of the business entities used by Rizzo to transfer funds in furtherance of the scheme was located in San Diego."

Rizzo's assistant Maureen Marant, 47, of Lantana, Fla., also was sentenced Tuesday - to probation - and ordered to pay $334,000 in restitution.

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