Former tech products executive sentenced on theft, securities charges

A former technology products executive who was already ordered to pay more than $740,000 in civil judgments to two former friends who sued him over soured financial dealings was sentenced last week on related criminal charges.

Timothy Scott Housefield of Carmel was sentenced Sept. 25 to two years of probation by Marion County Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner. He also was ordered to pay $310,000 in restitution to his victims.

Housefield, a former high-ranking executive for ACTnano Inc., ChaCha and Brightpoint, pleaded guilty in August to one count of theft and one count of acting as an unregistered broker-dealer.

Both Steve Delaney, a veteran retail real estate broker with CBRE, and Nichole Ingersoll-Scott, a nurse practitioner who lives in Zionsville, say Housefield pitched them on business investments and solicited money from them, but didn’t pay them back as promised. Stoner ordered Housefield to pay restitution of $160,000 to Delaney and $150,000 to Ingersoll-Scott.

According to his LinkedIn account, Housefield had a long career with companies that dealt with telecommunications products, particularly mobile phones. He was president of Indianapolis-based Brightpoint International (1991-99), president-international for Brightstar Corp. (2000-03), chief international officer for ChaCha (2010-11), CEO of HP International LLC (2011-12) and corporate development officer at ACTnano (2012-19).

Delaney said he and Housefield had been friends for more than 30 years.

“He took advantage of our long friendship for his personal gain,” Delaney told IBJ.

Ingersoll-Scott dated Housefield for several months in 2015.

Delaney and Ingersoll-Scott successfully sued Housefield in separate civil cases, and that led to the criminal case in which Housefield was sentenced last week.

The restitution in the criminal case represents only a portion of the amounts that civil courts had previously ordered Housefield to pay to each.

Ingersoll-Scott said that in May 2015, while she was dating Housefield, he pitched her on an overseas investment and she agreed to invest $150,000.

Ingersoll-Scott told IBJ that she received monthly interest payments regularly and, at Housefield’s suggestion, agreed to extend the agreement past its original 12-month term. But by mid-2017, the checks began to arrive late—and some did not clear the bank right away.

“I just couldn’t deal with the stress of that, the insecurity of that,” Ingersoll-Scott told IBJ. So, in September 2017, she told Housefield she wanted out of the deal.

Housefield wrote her a $160,000 check to cover her initial investment plus interest and late fees. When Ingersoll-Scott tried to deposit it in January 2018, the check was denied for insufficient funds.

Ingersoll-Scott took Housefield to court over the matter in July 2018. In July, a Boone Superior Court judge imposed a $549,979 civil judgment against Housefield. That amount includes Ingersoll-Scott’s initial investment plus unpaid interest, attorney fees and court costs. It also includes damages of $320,000.

Delaney’s situation is similar.

He said Housefield first approached him in 2016, asking Delaney to invest in his business of buying and reselling cell phones. Based on Housefield’s background, it seemed like a safe bet.

“I figured it was a sound investment with a businessman that I respected,” Delaney said. “I had no reason to doubt him at all.”

In 2016 and 2017, Delaney advanced Housefield a total of $160,000 in two separate transactions. Over time, Housefield made 15 interest payments of $1,000 each.

In August 2017, Housefield gave Delaney two checks totaling $183,000, representing the principal of Delaney’s investment plus interest. But when Delaney took the checks to the bank, both were refused for insufficient funds.

Delaney took Housefield to court in March 2018. In November, a Hamilton Superior Court judge imposed a $193,000 judgment against Housefield, also ordering him to pay Delaney’s court costs.

The case ended up in criminal court in August when Ingersoll-Scott took her complaint to Marion County prosecutors.

At his sentencing last week, Housefield paid $30,000 toward his court-ordered restitution—$15,000 each to Ingersoll-Rand and Delaney.

IBJ was unable to reach Housefield. But his attorney, Mike Gaerte, a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll, said his client intends to make things right.

“Scott Housefield immediately accepted responsibility for his mistakes,” Gaerte wrote in an email. “His remorse is profound, as is his commitment to repairing the damage he caused. Mr. Housefield has, and will continue to, work tirelessly to fulfill his financial obligations to Mr. Delaney and Ms. Ingersoll-Scott. Mr. Housefield is dedicated to ensuring that, in time, justice will be done.”

For their parts, Delaney and Ingersoll-Scott said they don’t expect to see the rest of their money.

“I don’t believe he’s going to pay me back,” Ingersoll-Scott told IBJ. “You win some, you learn some. That’s how I’m looking at this.”

Delaney said he’s hurt by the incident but believes Housefield was the one who lost the most.

“I lost my money,” Delaney said, “but he lost his reputation.”

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