Former Motionloft CEO Jonathan Mills has pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud. The San Francisco entrepreneur, who raised funding from Mark Cuban, was arrested by the FBI in February. He admitted to spending "substantial amounts" of his victims' money on "vacations and other entertainment," like that time he hired Grammy-award winner Miguel (above) for a private show and numerous trips to Vegas.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California initially charged Mills with four counts of money laundering. But as part of the plea agreement, Mills got that down to two counts of wire fraud.
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of wire fraud. Mills admitted that his actions, including lying about an acquisition from Cisco, caused his victims to lose about $765,000, according to this press release from the FBI:
In pleading guilty, Mills admitted that he falsely told victims that Motionloft was soon to be acquired by a well-known multinational company based in Silicon Valley. Mills told his victims that in exchange for providing him money to be invested in Motionloft, these investors would earn an ownership stake in Motionloft and massive profits upon completion of the imminent acquisition. In furtherance of his scheme, Mills claimed that the acquiring company had agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire Motionloft. When the purported acquisition failed to materialize, Mills told his victims a series of false excuses, including blaming lawyers, blaming the government shutdown, and blaming financial institutions. In pleading guilty, however, Mills admitted that not only was there no such acquisition planned, but Mills spent substantial amounts of his victims' money on his own personal expenses such as vacations and other entertainment.
Mark Cuban is now the owner of Motionloft. The sentencing hearing for Mills is scheduled for February 3, 2015. You can read his text exchanges with some of the victims here (via TechCrunch) and the indictment below.
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