Updated: Roth sentenced to 12 years, 7 months; ordered to pay $16 million
Updated 5:19 p.m. Thursday.
PEORIA — Former Urbana investment adviser Timothy J. Roth was sentenced Thursday to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $16 million in restitution to fraud victims.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm ordered Roth to report April 2 to the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison term. After he serves that term, he is to remain on supervised release for three years.
Federal prosecutors had recommended reducing the 151-month sentence to 131 months because Roth, 57, of Stonington had given them assistance in investigating the case and trying to recover restitution.
But Mihm rejected that recommendation, ordering Roth to serve the full term.
In October 2011, Roth pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud and money laundering.
He admitted that he defrauded 11 victims — including companies and individuals — of $16 million between May 2004 and March 2011.
Among the biggest victims: Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare, which lost about $7.6 million; Colorado-based TIC Holdings, which lost more than $2.9 million; and Wisconsin-based Great Lakes Higher Education, which lost nearly $1.8 million.
Since June 2002, Roth had worked as an investment adviser for a capital management company in Champaign and had formed several personal consulting companies on the side.
According to court documents, Roth admitted that he transferred, liquidated and removed mutual fund shares from clients' accounts for his own personal and business use.
Between 2004 and 2008, the fraud amount reached $1.5 million. From December 2008 and February 2011, the sum grew to more than $16 million.
In a sentencing memorandum to the court, Roth stated he used most of the money for two businesses he thought would generate enough money to pay everyone back.
Those businesses included Champaign-based Mezolink, a data services company, and Evanston-based VCN Celect, which marketed online services to fraternal, business and faith-based organizations.
But the scheme came to light before the money was restored.
Roth's attorney, Theodore Poulos, portrayed Roth in a court filing as generous, noting that he coached youth basketball teams, persuaded his college fraternity to stop hazing and served as an immigration sponsor to two women from Cameroon.
In that filing, Poulos urged the judge to consider an even lighter sentence than prosecutors were recommending — between five and 11 years.
In a December letter to the judge, Roth conceded he might not be able to pay back victims in full.
"I know past or future accomplishments by me can never remove the pain and suffering I have caused," he wrote, "nor is it reasonable from anyone's perspective that I am capable at my age of full restitution."
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Illinois Secretary of State's Securities Department and the Champaign Police Department.
Assistant U.S. attorneys David H. Hoff and Eric I. Long prosecuted the case.