An Arkansas man who bilked 13 investors out of more than $1.4 million in a dog-business scam was sentenced Monday in federal court to more than five years in prison and ordered to pay restitution.
Darrell Fred Rosen, 59, a business coach, consultant and former executive, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of filing a false income tax return. The guilty pleas were part of an agreement with federal prosecutors.
Rosen was sentenced to 63 months on the money laundering charge to be followed by three years supervised release and three years on the tax charge to be followed by one year of supervised release. The terms will run concurrently. Rosen is to self-report to prison Aug. 20.
Rosen also was ordered to pay $1.4 million restitution and another $439,050 to the IRS. Fines were waived to allow more restitution to be paid.
"You are a con man," U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks told Rosen. "I don't know if that makes you feel bad, but you are a con man."
Brooks also told Rosen that given the nature of his offenses -- stealing life savings from trusting friends and lying repeatedly -- he wished he could give Rosen more time than federal sentencing guidelines call for.
"Your guideline range is grossly understated," Brooks said.
Before he was formally sentenced, Rosen issued a rambling, sometimes tearful apology to some of the victims who were in the courtroom and asked for their forgiveness.
"I violated the basic bond between friends. I want the opportunity to make it right," Rosen said. "I am determined to try and pay it back. I will work hard to repay the people I have hurt."
Rosen, who has a master's degree in ethics, had asked Monday for a downward departure in the sentencing to two years in prison, arguing he suffers from a bi-polar disorder and his reduced mental capacity somehow contributed to his conduct.
"It kept striking me, why? Why would I do this," Rosen told the judge. "I just cannot believe I've gotten myself where I am today."
Brooks rejected the argument.
Ten other related counts in the indictment, including wire fraud, were dismissed as part of the deal, but evidence of those wrongs was used at sentencing and in determining the restitution Rosen was ordered to pay.
Rosen, a former Procter & Gamble executive over the Iams Division, owned dog care businesses Rover Oaks and Mountain Creek Kennels. He also has experience training and selling hunting dogs, according to his indictment.
Rosen used that experience from 2010 to 2014 to trick people in Arkansas and Texas to invest in an unidentified "dog business" for training and selling dogs to government agencies and private companies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, according to the plea agreement. Rosen used false contract documents claiming to show those buyers were interested and promised generous returns on investment "as well as many other false representations."
Rosen used the money for personal expenses, according to court documents. He filed a federal tax return in 2013 and didn't include the money he took from investors.
The indictment doesn't identify investors, saying only "H.A." gave $100,000 to Rosen and "E.B." gave $105,000. It says Rosen used $161,000 to purchase cashier's checks payable to himself and three others.