General Crime

* Ned Roscoe, Former Owner of Cigarettes Cheaper, has been Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for a $10.7 Million Bank Fraud in San Jose

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The former owner of the now-defunct Cigarettes Cheaper! store chain has been sentenced in federal court in San Jose to five years in prison for a $10.7 million bank fraud. Ned Roscoe, 51, of Fairfield, was given the sentence by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte on Wednesday. He was convicted in February 2011 after a month-long jury trial on 28 charges of bank fraud and false statements in connection with loans from Comerica Bank.

In a recent ruling, Whyte determined that the bank’s loss amounted to $10.7 million. At its height, the now-liquidated company, which was based in Benicia, had nearly 800 stores in 40 states and took in $1 billion in annual revenue, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

Roscoe’s father, John Roscoe, 82, of Green Valley, who was a co-owner of the company, pleaded guilty in January 2011 to a charge of conspiracy to make false statements to the bank. He was sentenced by Whyte on Wednesday to 12 months of home detention and five years of probation.

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