Computer Crime Research Center


Internet business and fraud

Date: July 29, 2007

The owner of three Internet-based companies has pleaded guilty in the southern Ohio division of U.S. District Court to claims that he lied to investors about the financial condition of one company to raise funds for all three.

Keith Lawrence of Cleves collected $532,500 from investors beginning in July 2005 following his launch of, an Internet search service funded by advertising space, according to court documents.

At the same time, Lawrence told investors his other two companies were developing a laser-based measuring system and a Web-based gift-giving technology, and that the two products already had two well-known companies lined up to buy them. A statement of facts submitted with the plea found that the stated buyers had never heard of the products. Lawrence deposited the investors' dollars in his personal bank account.
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