Nate Holzapfel, a former contestant on the truth TV present “Shark Tank,” was sentenced to as much as 15 years in jail for a number of counts of fraud and sexual battery.
Utah Fourth District Choose Thomas Low rejected a probation advice for Holzapfel, 44, overturning a plea settlement his attorneys negotiated with prosecutors.
In June, Holzapfel, pleaded responsible to 3 counts of communications fraud, a second-degree felony and three counts sexual battery, a category A misdemeanor, in accordance with the settlement filed with the courtroom on Friday.
The fees towards Holzapfel — which had been unrelated to his actions on “Shark Tank” — stemmed from eight totally different legal circumstances involving a number of girls between 2018 and 2021. In response to the Utah prosecutors’ charging paperwork, the married Holzapfel struck up romantic relationships with “susceptible” girls he met on courting apps, then persuaded them to show over their cash and belongings.
The deal was meant to spare Holzapfel jail time, as an alternative he would serve 48 months of supervised probation, and required that he pay $300,000 in restitution to his fraud victims. In change, prosecutors would dismiss 17 different expenses towards Holzapfel.
In response to the plea assertion, Holzapfel may withdraw his responsible plea if the decide didn’t observe the phrases agreed upon by the attorneys. Nonetheless, Choose Low denied Holzapfel’s request to withdraw his responsible pleas, saying it contradicted Utah legislation.
“The treachery and abuse that has occurred additionally occurred over an extended time frame,” stated the decide throughout sentencing.
Holzapfel’s attorneys didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
He initially confronted 15 felony and 5 misdemeanor legal expenses that had been filed in 2021 and 2022 together with communications fraud, theft and forcible sexual abuse, in accordance with the Utah County legal professional’s workplace in Provo.
In 2013 Holzapfel earned a measure of fame when he appeared on the fourth season of ABC’s long-running “Shark Tank,” the place he pitched his Mission Belts Co., calling it “a belt with no holes, that all the time match.”
Movie star investor Daymond John agreed to speculate $50,000 for a 37%.5 stake within the firm, which reportedly offered $180,000 value of belts the night time Holzapfel’s episode aired.
Mission Belts and Holzapfel had been regularly cited publicly as “Shark Tank” success tales.
Holzapfel turned John’s protégé, working with him on different “Shark Tank”-related ventures. Quickly, he was providing his experience to entrepreneurs via a sequence of of teaching, coaching, movies and books underneath his web site Nate State of Thoughts.
It was on this capability that Holzapfel started working with former “Shark Tank” contestants Al “Bubba” Baker and his daughter Brittani Baker, after John introduced him in to arrange their e-commerce platform.
The Bakers alleged that after they appeared on the truth present ‘s fifth season in 2013, John who invested of their boneless child again rib enterprise and launched them to Holzapfel, calling him an “web genius.”
Nonetheless, the Bakers alleged their time working with Holzapfel was beset by issues detailed in a Instances investigation.
They declare they needed to refund to clients almost 14% of the quantity of the preliminary on-line orders as a result of Holzapfel failed to put in a function to gather gross sales tax on sure merchandise.
Additional, they contend that Holzapfel managed their enterprise checking account and ignored their requests for monetary info.
When the Bakers minimize ties with Holzapfel, they stated that he closed out the enterprise account they believed had $100,000 on deposit and despatched them a examine for $8,000.
Holzapfel’s legal professional beforehand advised The Instances that his consumer “doesn’t have any touch upon this matter.”
John earlier advised The Instances that he didn’t recall describing Holzapfel as an “web genius” and he had not had “any relationship” with Holzapfel in years.
“He ended up displaying a sample of dangerous habits and he was not a match for the way we do enterprise,” John stated, including that he solely turned conscious of Holzapfel’s authorized predicament “after we ended our relationship with him.”
The fees that Holzapfel was sentenced for final week had been unrelated to his enterprise relationship with John or the Bakers.
Holzapfel’s authorized troubles will not be restricted to his current spate of Utah legal expenses.
In 2019 Larry King Enterprises had gained a default judgment for $250,000 towards Holzapfel in a U.S. District Courtroom in California.
That case arose out of a mock interview King recorded with Holzapfel in 2013, “as a favor to a member of the family,” for use in a “sizzle reel” to be proven to TV producers that Holzapfel hoped may rent him, in accordance with the grievance.
As an alternative, Holzapfel obtained King’s participation “underneath false pretenses,” and used the interview, making it seem that King “endorsed Defendants’ industrial actions when, actually, he has not finished so.”