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Burns sentenced in fish farm scam

The final sentencing in the Global Aquaponics case has been handed down.

In federal court Friday, Tim Burns of Brookings was sentenced to nearly 6-years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $500,000 in restitution.

Back in April, a jury found Burns guilty of scamming investors out of tens of thousands of dollars in connection with the Global Aquaponics project near Brookings.

Burns apologized to the victims who lost money.

Judge Karen Schreier sentenced Burns to 57 months in prison, followed by a period of supervised release for his role in defrauding investors. At least 34 people invested in what was supposed to be a high-tech indoor fish farm. Ownership units were sold for $25,000 each. Investors lost about $1 million.

Instead of using the money for the project, Burns and his business partner, Tobias Ritesman, spent it on themselves. Ritesman was sentenced in July to nine years in prison.


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