(STL.News) – John Foster, 56, of Portsmouth, was sentenced on Thursday to 51 months in federal prison for wire fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2014 to sometime in May of 2018, Foster owned multiple limited liability corporations (LLCs) which he used in his schemes. In each of the schemes, Foster defrauded victims to obtain money that he claimed would be used for business projects, but actually used the money for his own personal benefit.
In 2018, Foster owned J.O. Foods, a company that facilitated the purchase and shipment of food to foreign countries. He agreed to send several thousand pounds of lobster to Vietnam. A customer agreed to pay J.O Foods a total of $145,500 for the delivery of the lobster. Foster falsely assured the company that the lobster was being shipped and induced the customer to send him over $100,000.
In 2014, Foster owned JM Application, Design and Technologies, LLC, which purportedly developed and sold mobile computer applications. Foster used false representations to persuade seven individuals to invest $250,000 in the business and falsely claimed that the money was being used to further business development when Foster actually used the money for his personal benefit.
In 2015, Foster promised to investors that he would develop an app called “Rocket Dog” to assist a business. Foster convinced an individual to invest over $156,000 to develop the app. During the next several months, Foster provided misleading information and material about the development of the Rocket Dog app and used most of the money for personal expenses.
In 2015, Foster also offered to create an app for another business and falsely claimed to have secured a patent for the app. He used false representations to persuade individuals to provide over $120,000 that he falsely claimed would be used to develop the app. Foster actually used most of the money for his personal benefit.
Foster previously pleaded guilty on January 8, 2020.
“Fraud schemes exploit the trust of victims and steal their money,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “This defendant’s repeated use of fraudulent schemes to obtain large sums of money was reprehensible. This substantial sentence demonstrates that white collar crime will not be tolerated and those who commit these crimes will go to prison.”
“John Foster repeatedly took advantage of those who trusted him, by cheating them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, using a variety of fraudulent schemes,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Today’s sentence should make it crystal clear the FBI will not hesitate to go after criminals like him who take advantage of unsuspecting victims for their own personal gain.”