To Assistant United States Attorney Gregory W. Staples, Orange County businessman Russell Samuel Biszantz deserved a punishment break because while the owner of an escrow company misused more than $2.4 million in client funds, he didn't divert the money to live a lavish lifestyle.
Instead, Biszantz used the funds belonging to eight customers to try to keep his eLender business afloat with creative but illegal, shell game moves as well as operating without a state license after the 2008 economic crash.
Too many Southern California corporate executives charged by the FBI have funneled money to purchase expensive personal vehicles, homes, vacation houses, jewelry and clothes.
Because Biszantz--born in 1970--didn't follow that course, cooperated with investigating special agents and had no prior criminal history, Staples proposed to shave five months from federal sentencing guidelines.
This month inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter agreed with Staples to give the businessman a term of 27 months in prison.
He's also being required to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution and must surrender to federal prison officials to begin serving his punishment by noon on July 15.
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When Biszantz emerges back into society, he will undergo supervised probation for four years, a period when he is banned from engaging in any escrow, mortgage, loan, telemarketing or investment businesses without the express consent of the government, according to Carter's order.