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Former executive sentenced to 9 years in fish fraud scheme

July 15, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A former executive accused of defrauding investors in a scheme to build an $11 million fish farm in South Dakota has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier on Monday also ordered Tobias Ritesman to pay $680,000 in restitution.

The 42-year-old Ritesman, who had nicknamed himself “The Tiger,” earlier pleaded guilty to 18 felonies in connection with the Global Aquaponics project near Brookings.

Ritesman’s co-defendant, Timothy Burns, will be sentenced next week.

Investors put up money for what was supposedly going to be a high-tech indoor fish farm. But The Argus Leader reports that instead of using money for the project, Ritesman and Burns spent it on themselves.

A federal jury in April found Burns guilty of five counts of wire fraud.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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