The Latest on the sentencing of admitted con-man Kyle Sandler in the Round House investor fraud (all times local):
A federal judge has delayed sentencing for a con-man who bilked investors in Alabama of nearly $2 million.
U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins says he needs to see what federal law says about Kyle Sandler’s request to do his time in home confinement, where he can use a computer to make more money and provide restitution to his victims.
Sandler apologized to the victims in court on Thursday, telling them, “I’m disgusted with myself.”
The judge said the fraud charges Watkins pleaded guilty to call for up to six and a half years in prison.
Sandler’s lawyer didn’t object to the length of the sentence, but Sandler himself asked to serve it at home. Prosecutors want him behind bars.
A man who used an internet pioneer and a teen inventor in a scam that cost investors in an Alabama town nearly $2 million was due in federal court Thursday to find out how long he will go to prison.
Kyle Sandler, 43, moved to the east Alabama town of Opelika (Oh-puh-LIE-kuh) in 2011 and later opened a business incubator called the Round House. He pleaded guilty last year to fraud for taking about $1.9 million from more than 50 investors.
Sandler told The Associated Press in a series of recent telephone interviews from jail that he falsely portrayed himself as a one-time Google executive and acted out of greed.
He said he used John McAfee, who developed early internet security software, and Taylor Rosenthal, a teen who had an idea for a new kind of first aid vending machine, to help gain publicity for his operation.
“I don’t want to be this horrible person. I am disgusted with myself for doing this,” Sandler said recently from the city jail in Montgomery, where he is being held in federal custody.
It was unclear whether any of Sandler’s victims would be in court.
Prosecutors are recommending a lighter sentence because Sandler cooperated with authorities and pleaded guilty quickly. U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins could either accept the suggestion or sentence Sandler to a maximum 20 years in prison on each of two counts of fraud.
Sandler will probably get four to five years total, said defense attorney Richard Keith, and he still faces a theft charge in state court.
“He got money, got greedy, got caught, goes to prison,” Keith said in an interview before the hearing.
Watkins already has ordered Sandler to repay the money lost by investors, and Sandler told AP he hopes to return to Opelika and make back the money in an internet-based business.