Following an FBI investigation, a Ketchum resident has been charged by the U.S. government with 10 counts of wire fraud and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.

     Timothy Semones could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in a federal prison if convicted of all charges.

     According to a federal grand jury indictment filed Feb. 12, Semones is charged with transferring funds from a California-based company where he worked as chief financial officer to his personal company’s bank account and to that of his wife, Ketchum architect Susan Desko, between October 2017 and November 2018 to help fund construction of a home in Ketchum.

     Though Desko has not been charged criminally, she is a defendant along with her husband in a civil case alleging embezzlement from the same California-based tech company, Eta Compute.

     The indictment states that Semones “knowingly devised, participated in, and intended to devise a scheme to defraud, as to material matters, Eta, and to obtain money and property belonging to Eta by means of materially false and fraudulent pretense, representations, and promises. … Defendant used the misappropriated funds to pay construction costs for the house he was building at 29 Lake Creek Drive, Ketchum. …”

     In addition, Semones allegedly made false statements to Eta’s CEO about the location and balance of funds in the company’s bank account and allegedly emailed falsified bank records to the CEO to make it appear as if Eta’s account had more money than it actually did.

     In total, Semones is alleged to have taken $3 million.

     For the full story, read the Wednesday edition of the Mountain Express.