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The Stolper Group is a boutique law firm founded by Michael Stolper, a former litigation partner at the international firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and associate at Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine. 

Latest News

Joshua Newman, a Fitness Entrepreneur, Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison

Particle Media

Joshua B. Newman, a Yale University graduate turned personal fitness entrepreneur, was sentenced on Tuesday to more than three years in a federal prison for bilking 30 investors out of more than $3 million.

Mr. Newman, 37, was sentenced just over two years after federal authorities had charged him with duping those investors, many of whom were either Yale alumni or people who had come to know him at a CrossFit training center in New York.

Judge William H. Walls of the Federal District Court in Newark imposed a sentence of 41 months followed by three years of court supervision, after Mr. Newman had addressed the court and said he was sorry for his actions.

A number of Mr. Newman’s family members were in the courtroom as were an investor who said he lived in Puerto Rico and a lawyer who represents several other investors.

“Josh acknowledged he came from privilege and he blew it,” said Michael Stolper, the lawyer who represents 11 investors. “I think justice was served.”

Mr. Newman’s business failures and allegations that he had failed to repay debts to investors were first reported by The New York Times in May 2015. He is scheduled to report to prison on Aug. 28.

“Although today’s sentence disappoints us, we have complete faith that Josh shall return to society as a true asset to his community,” said Priya Chaudhry, a lawyer who represented Mr. Newman along with Eric Kanefsky. “Josh is lucky to have many gifts, including resilience.”

Mr. Newman intends to repay his victims and has accepted full responsibility for his actions, Ms. Chaudhry said.

Raised in Silicon Valley, Mr. Newman graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1997, just as the first internet start-up boom was taking hold. At Yale, Mr. Newman majored in cognitive science, a field that combines elements of computer science, neuroscience and psychology. By his junior year, Mr. Newman has said, he was a managing partner in the Silicon Ivy Venture Fund, which provided seed money to start-ups backed by college students.

Even before he graduated, Mr. Newman was featured in an April 2000 article in The Wall Street Journal about dorm room venture capitalists. He seemed to have a bright future, but things went wrong when a small film production company he had started, Cyan Pictures, ran into financial trouble and accumulated big debts that would dog Mr. Newman for years.

He then tried his hand at CrossFit, an intensive workout regimen, and became an outspoken devotee. He was a founder of a large, independently owned CrossFit center in Manhattan.

But Mr. Newman got in trouble when he began raising money to finance another CrossFit center. Federal prosecutors contend much of the money he raised for that venture and others went either to his personal use or to the investors in his failed movie production company.

Mr. Newman is not affiliated with CrossFit Inc., a fitness consulting firm based in Washington. Centers using the CrossFit brand name are independently run.

Even after he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in March 2016, Mr. Newman continued to posit himself as an entrepreneur. He created a website for a new fitness and training program called Composite Fitness.

And he continued to post messages on his blog. His last message was posted on Monday under the headline: “Penance.”

The brief post was a quotation from Joseph J. Ellis, the American historian and writer: “And the only thing to do with a sin is to confess, do penance and then, after some kind of decent interval, ask for forgiveness.”