Thursday, February 4, 2021
A Palm Bay, Florida man was sentenced last week to six years in prison for an investment fraud scheme involving the supposed production and sale of motorized surfboards.
According to court documents, Roberto Clark, 50, previously a resident of Bethesda, Maryland, operated a scheme to defraud small investors in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. As part of the scheme, Clark falsely promised that the investments made with Clark’s company, KRM Services, would go toward manufacturing “Jetboards” for resale to third parties at substantial profits. Instead, Clark spent the money on maintaining his lavish lifestyle.
To execute the scheme, Clark falsified sales contracts with cruise lines and water sports companies; forged signatures and notary stamps; fabricated emails from supposed buyers of the Jetboards; and falsified a patent report so that it would appear he could obtain a patent on the Jetboard. He provided all of this false information to investors to convince them to invest in KRM Services. In reality, Clark had purchased a Chinese-made motorized surfboard that had serious mechanical and design problems and never properly functioned. Clark never sold a single surfboard to any buyer.
Clark primarily defrauded small investors, including people he met socially in local restaurants and bars. He maxed out one victim’s personal credit card on Christmas Eve so that she could not buy her daughter a present or travel to see family. According to court documents, Clark stole more than $400,000 from 14 victims between 2016 and 2019, causing substantial financial hardship to a number of them.