July 10 -- Ross Rojek the owner of the Comics & Comix chain recently arrested for mail and securities fraud (see "Rojek Versus the FBI," TCJ #261), pled guilty in Sacramento's U.S. District Court to one count of mail fraud and one count of securities fraud. The crimes have a combined maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a half-million dollar fine, although local media covering the case believes the retailer is likely to receive somewhere between seven and twelve years, of which he will have to serve a majority according to federal law. The plea was accompanied by an in-court admission by Rojek of the crimes for which he will be sentenced.
Rojek was arrested for activities over two years beginning in Spring 2002, where it is believed he relieved 112 investors of money by convincing them to invest in non-existent companies that had developed facial recognition software that could be of use to federal authorities in the international war on terrorism. He financed part of this scame through a second illegal money-gathering ploy. By the time of his arrest, his four-store chain had been reduced to two, which subsequently have closed.
Ross Rojek is 36 years old. He will be sentenced on September 21.