A Ketchum man is scheduled for a jury trial in September after being indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud following an FBI investigation. If convicted, Timothy Semones could face up to 30 years in a federal prison.
Semones, husband of Ketchum architect Susan Desko, was indicted in February by the federal government after allegedly transferring funds from a California-based company where he worked as chief financial officer to his personal company’s bank account and to Desko’s bank account, between October 2017 and November 2018 to help fund construction of a home on Lake Creek Drive north of Ketchum, according to the federal grand jury indictment filed Feb. 12.
The case is now scheduled for a jury trial to begin Sept. 14 in Boise.
According to court records, Semones embezzled $3 million from the California-based company, Eta Compute, to pay for construction of the home. Eta Compute filed a lawsuit against Semones in December 2018, and since then the case has been closed, following the sale of the Lake Creek residence. Semones and Desko also filed for bankruptcy after the lawsuit in January 2019. That bankruptcy case is still open, according to court records.
The residence was sold to a private buyer in April for $4.1 million, according to court documents. It was previously listed on the real estate web site Zillow for $6.2 million. A percentage of the sale proceeds went to Eta Compute, settling the lawsuit filed, and another portion went to the U.S. Marshals Service for forfeiture, according to court records.
Semones was taken into custody and released on Feb. 13 in Ketchum, and beyond the wire fraud charges, he also faces one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.
Though Desko was not charged criminally, she was a defendant along with her husband in the civil lawsuit alleging embezzlement from Eta Compute.
The indictment in the federal cases 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.”
Semones is accused of falsifying bank statements and lying to Eta’s CEO about the location and balance of funds in the company’s bank account.