(Adds comment from defense lawyer)
By Nate Raymond
Dec 22 A one-time chief executive has been
sentenced to two years in prison for engaging in a scheme to
pocket $657,000 he made selling antiques instead of using it to
help pay for a judgment against him for illegal stock sales.
Robert Olins, the ex-CEO of the now-defunct SpatiaLight Inc,
was sentenced on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman
in Manhattan after pleading guilty in June to charges he
conspired to obstruct justice and engaged in money laundering.
Furman also ordered Olins to forfeit $160,000 and pay
restitution of $657,000. James DeVita, Olins' lawyer, said he
was "happy to have all of this over and behind him."
The case arose out of what prosecutors said were efforts by
Olins, 59, to avoid making payments on a $3.4 million judgment
that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission won against him
The judgment stemmed from a 2007 lawsuit in California by
the SEC against Olins, SpatiaLight, a high-definition television
display maker, and Argyle Capital Management Corp, a company
wholly owned by Olins.
The SEC contended Olins and Argyle illegally sold more than
400,000 shares of SpatiaLight stock without disclosing those
sales and while making misrepresentations to investors about the
shares enabling him to net $2.6 million.
Prosecutors said Olins failed to make payments on the
judgment, leading in 2012 to a judge appointing a receiver who
would oversee the sale of pieces in his arts and antiques
collection, valued at $8.6 million to $13.8 million.
The receiver itself, Oklahoma-based American Bank and Trust
Company, had lent Argyle $3.5 million in 2003, of which $2.6
million remained unpaid. The proceeds of the sale were to be
used to pay the receiver, the SEC and other creditors.
Not wanting to pay the SEC, Olins schemed with an antiques
dealer, Henry Neville, to obscure the true value of items in the
collection and to hide assets from the receiver and two federal
courts, prosecutors said.
The scheme enabled Olins to earn $657,000 in undisclosed and
unapproved income from the sale of a set of Louis XV antique
vases and a pair of Louis XV gilt bronze dragon candelabra,
Neville, who was a director of New York operations for
antiques dealing company Mallett Inc, pleaded guilty in May to
charges including obstruction of justice and conspiring to
commit bank fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8.
The case is U.S. v. Olins, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 15-cr-00861.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Cynthia
Osterman and Andrew Hay)