5 years in prison for ex-CEO at Alaska-based company

    New York (AP) - The former chief executive at an Alaska-based fiber-optic cable company has been sentenced to five years in prison for cheating New York investors of over $270 million.

    Elizabeth Ann Pierce, formerly head of Quintillion, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.

    Pierce, who now lives outside Austin, Texas, apologized but also blamed others. Ramos said her effort to blame others was no excuse for what she did.

    Ramos said the 2015-2017 fraud against two New York-based investment companies was huge.

    U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Pierce repeatedly lied to investors and forged the signatures of her customers' executives on fake revenue contracts to raise money to build a fiber-optic cable system in northern Alaska.

    Ramos said her good intentions did not justify her illegal means.

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