BULLETIN: Steve Renner, Operator Of INetGlobal Autosurf, Sentenced To 18 Months In Federal Prison In Tax Case Tied To His Money-Services Business
UPDATED 6:57 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) The operator of the INetGlobal autosurf has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for income-tax evasion.
Steve Renner also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank to cooperate with the IRS “in the assessment and payment of taxes still due,” federal prosecutors said.
Renner was convicted in December of four felony counts of tax evasion after a six-day jury trial. The case stemmed from his operation of Cash Cards International (CCI), a payment processing company.
He was not taken into immediate custody after today’s sentencing and perhaps has “several weeks” before he is scheduled to report to prison, said Jeanne Cooney, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones.
Cooney added that the IRS is in the process of determining how much money Renner still owes to the government, which is why Donovan ordered him to cooperate with the agency.
Even with his sentencing today, Renner’s legal troubles are not over. In February, the U.S. Secret Service said there was probable cause to believe he was operating an international Ponzi scheme through INetGlobal and affiliated companies.
Federal prosecutors have seized about $26 million in a probe into INetGlobal’s business practices. Renner has not been charged in the case, which prosecutors described as a “major” money-laundering investigation.
In the tax case, prosecutors said Renner diverted customers’ money held by CCI “to pay his living expenses as well as to make personal investments in coins, oil wells, art, stamps, and vintage musical instruments.
“He also used client funds to promote his blues-rock band, ‘Stevie Renner and the Renegades,’” prosecutors said.