Brian Thomas Reynolds, who pleaded guilty to defrauding investors in hisLoudoun Tribunenewspaper operation, on Friday was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady to serve 46 months in federal prison and to pay $512,500 in restitution.
Reynolds, 53, of Leesburg, also pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing seven firearms and associated ammunition. He has four prior felony convictions and is prohibited from possessing firearms.
According to court documents, Reynolds defrauded both investors and lenders through the company he controlled that operated theLoudoun Tribune. Federal investigators found he made several materially false and fraudulent representations to actual and potential investors and lenders regarding the existence and value of advertising contracts held by the company, and created fake advertising contracts when no such agreements existed.
Reynolds also made materially false and fraudulent representations regarding the company’s historical advertising revenues and the amount of money that he and others had invested in the company, falsely claimed that another individual had agreed to “match” the investments of certain investors, falsely claimed to at least one investor that the company lacked any debt, and materially overstated the amount of money held by the company in its bank accounts.
Court documents also state that Reynolds created altered loan documentation to defraud an individual who had lent money to the company by changing the language of the loan agreement to conditions that were materially more favorable to Reynolds and his company than had actually been agreed to by the lender. Reynolds also was found to have made materially false representations regarding the number of issues distributed by the newspaper, and falsely claimed that a prominent businessperson served on the company’s advisory board, when in fact that individual held no position on the board and played no role in the operation of the business.
The investigation and prosecution were part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, which focuses on violent crime reduction efforts.
Reynolds has been held in jail since his arrest in March.