A Sarasota man has been sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in a scheme to defraud victims in order to purchase property, a Rolls Royce, and other items.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced that Joshua Fox, of Sarasota, was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution for his role in a fraud scheme.
Fox and his co-defendant, Scott Varnado, engaged in a conspiracy to defraud individuals and entities by falsely representing to them that they were entitled to receive payments from a trust fund and promised that they would receive a substantial amount of money if they paid an up-front fee.
Fox and Varnado used a false trust document to represent that the trust was worth in excess of $10 million dollars. Fox and Varnado used the false trust document to convince victims to pay a fee of up to $25,000 in order to receive the trust funds.
Fox and Varnado used the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme to purchase property in Sarasota and Manatee counties and a Rolls Royce.
The investigation revealed that Fox and Varnado defrauded victims out of approximately $1.4 million.
The Honorable Charlene Edwards Honeywell, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Florida, sentenced Fox to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Additionally, Fox was ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution to the victims. Varnado is currently awaiting sentencing.
The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deborah L. Churchill.