CFO of downstate tech company pleads guilty to bilking $3M

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A former executive of a downstate public computer-services company pleaded guilty Friday to helping defraud a telecommunications provider out of at least $3 million.

Anthony Roth, a 52-year-old resident of Upton, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, a conviction carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Roth was chief financial officer of ContinuityX Solutions Inc. in Metamora, which is near Peoria. He and the company’s former CEO, David Godwin, approached companies to buy services from a global telecommunications firm they did not need or use, promising the companies they would not have to pay for the services, and that they’d be funded by other companies with which they worked out separate side deals, prosecutors said.

They then created fake financial information that inflated the financial condition of the companies so the firm would approve the sales and pay ContinuityX hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions for the new customers, prosecutors said.

They made about $3 million in commission off the scheme in 2011 and 2012, sharing some with the companies that signed up for services, prosecutors said.

Godwin, a 55-year-old Germantown Hills resident, has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud. John Coletti, a California resident and former sales representative for ContinuityX, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to the FBI.

Roth’s sentencing date has not been set. Godwin and Coletti are scheduled for a jury trial on Sept. 25.

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