Ex-Bixby fund-raiser sentenced to 8 years

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A key figure responsible for raising millions of dollars for Bixby Energy Systems Inc. has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sixty-five-year-old Dennis Desender was sentenced Monday for lying to investors and for failing to file federal income tax returns and reporting his income for three years.

Desender was sentenced on one count of securities fraud and one count of tax evasion.

The Star Tribune reports Desender told the judge he accepts responsibility. The judge ordered Desender to pay restitution and also what he owes for the three years he failed to file income tax returns.

Prosecutors describe Desender as a major player behind efforts to raise money for Bixby, an alternative-energy company that’s been trying to market technology in China that converts coal to natural gas.