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Sommet Group Founder Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

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Posted at 9:37 AM, Jun 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:23:22-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The head of the now-defunct Sommet Group, which formerly held the naming rights to the Bridgestone Arena, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of stealing from clients.

The office of U.S. Attorney David Rivera says Brian Whitfield also was ordered to pay more than $25.9 million in restitution during Monday's sentencing hearing.

A federal jury convicted Whitfield in November on 14 counts related to a $25 million scheme to steal from clients.

The Sommet Group handled payroll, benefits and other back-office functions for businesses.

An indictment accused Whitfield of using company funds to pay for personal expenses including a $400,000 houseboat and a $152,000 pool.

The Sommet name was taken off the arena after federal agents raided the company's Franklin offices in 2010.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)