MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — A 58-year-old Madison man will spend 30 months in prison and pay nearly $3 million in restitution following a guilty plea for wire fraud and tax evasion.

Brian Hughes founded Handcrafted Brands in March 2015 so he could raise money to buy Salute American Vodka, according to an announcement Monday from U.S. States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery. He then received funds from dozens of investors so he could buy Salute, but instead used $150,000 from his first investment to pay his taxes and credit card expenses.

Handcrafted Brands bought Salute in June 2016 for $450,000, according to officials, but Hughes kept soliciting investments and used money for expenses that had nothing to do with the vodka company.

He also sought investments for another company that he had no official relationship with. He then used the money he received on personal expenses, for “lulling” payments for other investors and on expenses for Salute.

He additionally didn’t pay $470,990 in taxes from 2015 to 2018 by underreporting his income.

Hughes was arrested in January 2021 and pleaded guilty in February 2022. He has been released on a $250,000 bond and report to prison to begin his sentence on Sept. 6.