He still owes millions of dollars for a failed series of science-fiction convention, but right now, JumpCon founder Shane Senter is looking at only 14 years of probation (along with four years of suspended jail time), along with nearly $34,000 in restitution.
A judge in New Hampshire’s Hillsborough County sentenced Senter Monday after he pleaded guilty to two counts of felony theft that could’ve resulted in up to seven years in prison along with a $4,000 fine for each count, according to the Nashua Telegraph. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of deceptive business practices, which could’ve added two more years of prison time and a $2,000 fine.
Many of Senter’s victims from the series of conventions planned, but never realized, from 2008, failed to show up for the hearing. The $33,800 in restitution will be split amongst 51 people who had filed complaints with the attorney general in New Hampshire, although additional victims might be located at some point.
Also not attending the hearing was Edward James Olmos, the star of Syfy’s “Battlestar Galactica,” who along with co-star Mary McDonnell, was supposed to headline at least one of the JumpCons. Both, according to bankruptcy documents filed last May by Senter, say they are owed more than $100,000 from the convention collapse.
Olmos had slammed Senter during an appearance at Dragon*Con in Atlanta last year, vowing to “bring this bastard down,” according to the Nashua newspaper.
While some who say they lost their money from the JumpCon collapse may not be happy with the sentence, Senter will not be allowed to own or operate a business that would accept payment “prior to producing promised goods or services.”
Prosecutors said they believed Senter never intended or was capable of hosting the conventions, thus making the move fraud, another New Hampshire convention organizer told the court that he believed Senter absolutely intended to put on the conventions, but just never realized the scope of work and resources that would have to go into it.
That was a tough lesson learned prior to the JumpCon collapse by the organizers of FedConUSA. That group, which included some of the leadership from TrekUnited — a fan group that collected money from people with the promise of convincing the then UPN to fund a fifth season of “Star Trek: Enterprise” — collapsed after the convention had already started.
No one from FedConUSA was every charged criminally in that collapse, but it is unclear if attendees received promised refunds.