Federal Judge Sentences Man For Role In Vending Business Opportunity Scam

A federal judge sentenced a man to 18 months in prison for his role in a vending business opportunity scam. The sentencing of other individuals in the case have been scheduled.

Judge Lewis T. Babcock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado recently sentenced Louis G. Gubitosa to one year and six months in prison and to pay $2.3 million in restitution, according to The Federal Trade Commission.

According to the Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation, Gubitosa owned American Vending. In his plea agreement, Gubitosa acknowledged making misrepresentations about, among other things, the profits that would be generated by the vending machines and the quality of locations available for the vending machines, according to a document posted on the Department of Justice's Website.

According to the court's comments, the defendant shall make restitution to the victims in the amounts indicated in the presentence report.

The restitution obligation shall be joint and several with co-conspirators Richard Black and Gary M. Luckner, in the amount of $2,326,879.50. Payment shall be divided equally among the victims.

According to The Department of Justice, On May 24, 2010, action was filed against Richard Black, a/k/a "Richard Allen," a/k/a "Richard Houston," and Gary Luckner, a/k/a "Gary Michaels," charging both defendants with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. The information charged that Black and Luckner operated American Vending Systems, National Vending Systems, Inc., and Mad Dog Energy Products, Inc.

The information alleged that from 2007 to 2009, Black and Luckner made material misrepresentations to and concealed material facts from individuals who purchased a business opportunity involving vending machines that dispensed energy balls, energy chews, and energy shots. The information charged, among other things, that American Vending and National Vending used phony references to induce sales and that one of the phony references was Black, who posed as a successful vending machine route operator sometimes under the name of "Richard Allen" and sometimes under the name of "Richard Houston."

According to the Department of Justice update, the sentencing of Richard Black and Gary Luckner have been rescheduled for March 15, 2011, at 3 p.m., before Judge Robert E. Blackburn, Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Denver, CO, Courtroom A1001.

The sentencing of Henry Melvin Hendrix has been rescheduled for Feb. 4, 2011, at 4 p.m., before Judge Marcia S. Krieger, Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Denver, CO, Courtroom A901.