Crime & Courts

Business owner whose fraud paid for son’s NASCAR career will go to prison, judge rules

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The founder of a North Carolina business was sentenced to 10 years in prison on fraud charges Monday, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray’s office.

Robert Boston, 54, of Hickory defrauded his company’s investors and franchise owners while spending a substantial amount of money to help his son Justin become a NASCAR driver, the news release said.

He claimed that he spent $5 million per year “so (Justin) can play race car driver,” according to evidence presented at trial.

Justin Boston drove in the Camping World Truck Series in a truck emblazoned with the logo of his dad’s company, Zloop, according to motorsport.com. Kyle Busch Motorsports terminated his two-year, $6 million contract in 2015 because of missed payments, according to court filings.

On Monday, a federal judge found that Robert Boston owes more than $27 million to victims after he was found guilty of wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and conspiracy in December, according to the news release.

Boston founded Zloop, an electronic waste recycling firm, in 2012 and concealed a history of bankruptcy and issues with past fraud from franchise owners and investors, the news release said.

Boston and co-owner Robert LaBarge spent millions of the company’s money on personal purchases, including real estate, a private plane and cars, the news release said. Boston looked into buying a private island, according to the release.

LaBarge plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in November, and he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester
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