The one-time chief financial officer for convicted Miami entrepreneur Claudio Osorio got a lot less time in prison than his former boss.
Craig S. Toll, ex-CFO of Osorio’s failed start-up company, Innovida Holdings, Inc., was sentenced Friday to four years in prison. Toll, 65, of Pembroke Pines, was convicted at trial this summer on 10 of 22 offenses, including wire fraud and a money-laundering conspiracy.
But his punishment added up to only one-third of Osorio’s 12 1/2 year sentence imposed by the same judge Wednesday. Rather than go to trial, Osorio pleaded guilty to fraud and money-laundering conspiracy offenses entailing the theft of $50 million from business investors and a U.S. government grant program.
U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas gave Toll a significantly lower sentence than prosecutor Lois Foster-Steers recommended under federal guidelines, which ranged from 9 to 11 years.
The Fort Lauderdale federal judge noted that, despite his trial conviction, Toll was a tool of Osorio and did not receive anything from the mastermind’s scheme to swindle investors — just his yearly salary of $160,000.
“This has been a nightmare for Craig Toll, but it’s a fair sentence,” said his defense attorney, Richard Sharpstein, who sought the lower sentence. “And we’re thankful for the judge’s justice.”
Toll was charged with Osorio in a 2012 indictment accusing them of conspiring to fleece $40 million from 10 investors and an additional $10 million from the U.S. government between 2006 and 2011.
Osorio, who had previously worked with Toll at Osorio’s Fortune 500 computer-distribution business, CHS, before it went belly-up in 2000, launched Innovida on the promise of manufacturing high-tech building panels for low-cost housing.
But Osorio did not fulfill his promise to turn a profit and instead raided the company’s coffers to support an extravagant lifestyle with his wife, Amarilis, on Star Island.
One of his investment victims, Miami attorney Chris Korge, told the judge Friday that Toll was an honest person who never solicited any money from him. But Osorio, he said, stiffed him for $4 million.