St. Joseph businessman John Bertuca has begun his one-year sentence in federal prison for filing a false tax return. The Federal Bureau of Prisons website indicates the 56-year-old from Coloma is locked up in Oxford, Wisconsin, and officials at the facility have confirmed his incarceration to WSJM News. The prison is a medium-security facility for male inmates. Bertuca pled guilty to the charges and was to testify against several people tied to an alleged $46-million Ponzi scheme out of the Grand Rapids area. Federal prosecutors said in court papers that Bertuca had no knowledge of the Ponzi scheme, but dealt very closely with David McQueen and Trent Franke of Byron Center along with others. Bertuca also offered advice to McQueen and Franke on how to hide their assets. Bertuca owns the building that used to house the Pump House Grille in downtown St. Joseph, and legal disputes between he and restaurant owner Tom Jennings led to the establishment's closure earlier this year.
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