Founder of fitness company pleads guilty in federal court
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The founder of a St. Louis fitness company has admitted in federal court that he was a drug dealer, kidnapped a man and stole money and marijuana from him.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 53-year-old BAM Brands CEO Todd Beckman entered the guilty plea to conspiracy to commit a kidnapping Thursday in U.S. District Court. He could face up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is Feb. 9.
The victim was abducted Nov. 21 and taken to a home where he was beaten, assaulted and attacked with a stun gun before being moved to a shipping container.
“The crime was brutal and protracted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Davis said in a news release on Friday. “For almost three days, the victim was secured to a pole in a basement, physically assaulted and told of a plan to wrap him in plastic wrap, shoot him and deliver his body to California.”
The victim was freed Nov. 23 when his parents paid the kidnappers $27,000.
Beckman resigned from the company after his arrest in December. The company owns TanCo, Xist Fitness, Massage Lux and LifeXist, which is described as an “age management company.”
Four suspects have also pleaded guilty to roles in the crime, two of them on Friday.
Beckman admitted in court to selling marijuana after having 50 pounds to 80 pounds at a time shipped to St. Louis. His plea said the kidnapping occurred when the victim, a dealer, stole 24 pounds of marijuana and $15,000 cash.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com