Published: Dec 13, 2011 4:15 PM EST

LARGO, Fla. (AP) - A businessman accused of bilking clients out of $750,000 asked a judge to give him probation so he could start a business to repay his victims.
    
But Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Cynthia Newman didn't buy 62-year-old Stanley Crooms' argument. On Monday, she sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
    
The St. Petersburg Times (http://bit.ly/rO7ajn ) reports Crooms had strong support from friends, family and even some of his victims.
    
Newton called his plan to open a cleaning business that would earn profits of $7,500 a month unbelievable. The judge noted that Crooms had not repaid anything to his victims since he was arrested three years ago.
    
Officials say Crooms had a business that handled payroll, insurance and financial matters for firms. He pleaded guilty to 11 counts of grand theft.
    
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Information from: St. Petersburg Times, http://tampabay.com

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