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Former video game CEO sentenced to six months’ prison time

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Former Interzone Entertainment LLC CEO Marty Brickey on Friday was sentenced to six months of prison time and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty last year to one count of failure to make payroll taxes to the IRS.

In his guilty plea, Brickey will pay restitution of $114,449 to the IRS and another $532,260 to repay investors after a failed launch of a video game. His sentencing includes a $10,000 fine.

“I do sit here today taking full responsibility for what I’ve done,” Brickey said during the sentencing hearing at the U.S. Courthouse-Southern Division in Springfield. “I made a terrible decision. A CEO should know better than that.”

He is scheduled to self-surrender by 2 p.m. on March 18.

Brickey, 48, pleaded guilty on July 10, 2018, to U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush in federal court, admitting he voluntarily and intentionally failed to pay the IRS $15,031 in payroll taxes, including federal income, Medicare and Social Security taxes, according to a news release. The money was collected from Interzone Entertainment employees during the second quarter of 2009.

Brickey originally faced 30 counts, including wire fraud and money laundering, and was accused of running a $14.5 million investment fraud scheme, according to past Springfield Business Journal coverage.

He held a news conference in June 2017 where he made a case for his innocence, saying at the time, “They’ll get absolutely zero from this,” in reference to the federal government.

In court Friday, prosecuting attorney Patrick Carney argued for 18 months of prison time followed by three years of probation, citing Brickey’s “knowing decision to commit fraud.”

Carney also said Brickey chose to spend money for parties and trips, but rather than pay the taxes “chose luxury and the life he grew accustomed to.”

“We see where the money is going, and it’s not going where it should have gone,” Carney told the judge.

Brickey’s defense requested 12 months of home detention with probation for on the grounds of a clean criminal record. A $50,000 restitution check was presented prior to the judge’s sentencing.

Brickey, a Republic native, is a former Christian County reserve deputy sheriff and an 11-year Air Force veteran.

Interzone had offices in Springfield, Chicago, Perth, Australia, Belo Horizonte, Brazil and China before ceasing operations in 2010, according to a news release. Brickey also owned Big Collision Games LLC, which had offices in Texas and Dublin, Ireland, along with Zoonik USA Inc. and Studio Avenue Inc.

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