Judge doesn’t buy man’s plan to repay victims

A businessman accused of bilking clients out of $750,000 asked a judge to give him probation so he could start a business to repay his victims.

But Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Cynthia Newman didn’t buy 62-year-old Stanley Crooms’ argument. On Monday, she sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

The St. Petersburg Times reports Crooms had strong support from friends, family and even some of his victims.

Newton called his plan to open a cleaning business that would earn profits of $7,500 a month unbelievable. The judge noted that Crooms had not repaid anything to his victims since he was arrested three years ago.

Officials say Crooms had a business that handled payroll, insurance and financial matters for firms. He pleaded guilty to 11 counts of grand theft.

St. Petersburg Times