Boardman woman guilty of defrauding business investors - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Boardman woman guilty of defrauding business investors

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Andrea Trgovcich Andrea Trgovcich
AKRON, Ohio -

A Boardman woman awaits sentencing for her part in a scheme that investigators say collected tens of thousands of dollars from investors.

Andrea Trgovcich, 50, appeared in U.S. District Court on Tuesday where she pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud.

Six counts of bank fraud were dropped as part of her plea agreement.

A seven-count indictment was handed up in November against Trgovcich and Bertrand Gray of Cleveland, who was hired by Trgovcich as Chief Financial Officer of her company, Wellness Integrated Network.

Prosecutors say Trgovcich established the company in 2008 purportedly to develop and market a mobile, web-based software application that would enable users to manage diet, weight, and physical activities based on medical history, lifestyle, cooking ability, time allowances, budget, and preferences.

The software was supposed to incorporate menus, recipes, shopping lists, e-coupons, exercise tracking, and fitness routines, then marketed to corporations and businesses with wellness plans, as well as insurance companies.

Between 2008 and 2011, WIN joined three business incubators, one of which awarded the company a $25,000 grant, according to the indictment.

In 2010, a hospital not named in the indictment invested $50,000 in WIN, which agreed to develop and install software specifically for the hospital.

Investigators say after Trgovcich hired Gray as CFO in 2011, they conducted a series of presentations where Gray allegedly made false statements to prospective investors that he was independently wealthy and had a letter-of-intent from a company to purchase the WIN software.

According to the indictment, Trgovcich failed to dispute Gray's false claims to investors that Trgovcich was not drawing compensation or a salary from the company.

Prosecutors say that throughout the operation of the company, Trgovcich was withdrawing funds for personal use.

Between 2008 and 2013, investigators say Trgovcich collected $578,869 from investors, while no product was ever developed or marketed by her company.

At a meeting in January 2013, Trgovcich told investors that funds they invested in WIN were gone, according to the indictment.

However, prosecutors say that Trgovcich continued to solicit investments for her company for eight more months following that meeting.

The original indictment accused Trgovcich and Gray of misappropriating $234,743 in investor funds.

As part of her plea agreement, Trgovcich must make restitution in the amount of $95,000.

She's scheduled to be sentenced on August 3.

Gray is scheduled to be sentenced next month after pleading guilty earlier to one count of securities fraud 

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