Former Bixby CFO Sentenced to 8 Years
The former acting chief financial officer for Bixby Energy Systems, Inc., has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Dennis Desender, 65, was sentenced Monday for lying to investors to get them to commit large sums of money to the business, and for failing to file federal tax returns and report his income for three years. He was sentenced on one count of securities fraud and one count of tax evasion.
Desender was charged and pleaded guilty to securities fraud in September 2011. In February 2011, he was charged and pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
In his plea agreement, Desender admitted that from January 2010 through May 2011, he and others used manipulative and deceptive practices in an effort to sell securities. At the time, Desender was a consultant for Bixby Energy, but had previously been the company's CFO, in charge of raising funds for Bixby projects, including a coal gasification energy system. He also admitted to soliciting unqualified investors to invest in the company. In exchange for investment funds, investors were sold Bixby securities.
Prosecutors say Desender was responsible for about $4.3 million in investor losses.
Desender also admitted to failing to file tax returns from 2005 to 2008, as well as filing a false tax return for 2004. As a result of the criminal investigation against him, he has already filed the appropriate tax returns and intends to file an amended 2004 return, prosecutors say.