The are accused of bilking investors of more than $13 million

ROCHESTER — Three former owners of a Henrietta marketing firm entered not guilty pleas Tuesday in federal court to a criminal complaint charging them with conspiracy and multiple counts of wire fraud.

Jason Guck, 42, of Victor; Craig Jerabeck, 56, of Rochester; and Jeb Tyler, 44, of Penfield appeared before Judge Jonathan Feldman in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

They were originally charged in March, indicted in June and then named in a superseding indictment in mid-September, accusing them of defrauding investors of more than $13 million.

Guck, Jerabeck and Tyler are the former owners of 5LINX, a multilevel marketing company founded in 2001 that offered utility and telecommunications services, health insurance, nutritional supplements and business services, using independent representatives to sell products and services.

The company model also included the recruitment of additional representatives in a pyramid-type operation. Jerabeck was president and CEO; Guck, vice president and secretary; and Tyler, vice president. They no longer own the company.

They are charged with 29 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each count punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The new indictment also includes six counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, charges punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

In June and July of 2006, it is alleged the defendants sold 5LINX stock for $5.5 million to three investment companies which, from 2009 to 2014, owned a substantial stake in 5LINX.

The defendants are accused of fraudulently causing 5LINX, without the investors’ knowledge, to pay more than $13.2 million to them through fictitious independent reps they created and made appear to have provided services to 5LINX.

Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said the money paid to the fake reps was transferred into the defendants’ bank accounts or onto debit cards for their personal use.

Included in the case is $2.3 million the defendants are accused of fraudulently causing a vendor, for whom 5LINX was selling and distributing products, to pay them; money that should have gone to 5LINX.

Also involved was the creation of false financial statements and reports on the financial condition of 5LINX that investors relied on in making financial decisions affecting the company. Prior to receiving fraudulently obtained funds, the defendants are accused of money laundering for allegedly transferring the funds through various fictitious companies and entities to conceal their ownership of the funds.

All three defendants are free on bond.

Guck and Tyler each own expensive homes on Canandaigua Lake, one in the town of Canandaigua and one in Middlesex, Yates County, against which the federal government has filed forfeiture proceedings for the property and other assets.

The U.S. Marshals Services is overseeing the sale of the Tyler home on West Lake Road in Canandaigua. If Tyler is found guilty, all or part of the proceeds of the sale will go to the federal government. If he is acquitted, the funds will be turned over to him.