A West Des Moines man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for a “multimillion dollar” scheme that drove another company out of business as he tried to keep his own firm afloat. A jury convicted Clarence Allen Rice of wire fraud.
Prosecutors say Rice used his own company’s money and lost more than 800-thousand dollars in day trades about a decade ago. To make up for the cash flow problems that caused, Rice began embezzling millions from a business partner called Frontier Leasing Corporation. He used that company’s money to make more day trades. His fraud caused the other company to go out of business and 20 people lost their jobs.
Rice also used security deposits people were paying to his own company to try to cover losses and those customers wound up losing those deposits. Nicholas Klinefeldt, the U.S. Attorney for Iowa’s southern district, says the 70-month prison sentence Rice received “appropriately reflects the harm he caused” to others, especially those who he put out of work “when the economy was already struggling.”