Former Principal Investigator of Biopharmaceutical Company Found Guilty of Insider Trading

On November 28, 2017, a federal jury in Hartford, Connecticut found Edward J. Kosinski guilty of two counts of insider trading.  U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant presided over the trial, which lasted just over two weeks.  At trial, the government presented evidence that, in January 2014, Kosinski entered into an agreement with an agent of Regado Biosciences, Inc. (“Regado”) to act as a principal investigator for Regado’s clinical trial.  Kosinski owned 40,000 shares of ... Continue Reading

Three Employees of Chinese Internet Security Firm Charged with Computer Hacking, Theft of Trade Secrets, Conspiracy, and Identity Theft Affecting Three Corporate Victims

On November 27, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Soo C. Song, and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Division Robert Johnson announced the unsealing of an indictment charging three Chinese nationals with computer hacking, theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and identity theft from 2011 to May 2017.  The indictment charged these three individuals, employed by the ... Continue Reading

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Iranian National for Conducting Cyber Attack and a Multimillion-Dollar Extortion Scheme

On November 21, 2017, Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Behzad Mesri for his involvement in a fraudulent scheme to obtain unauthorized access to the computer systems of Home Box Office, Inc. (“HBO”) to steal proprietary information and to obtain $6 million worth of Bitcoin from HBO through extortion.  According to the government, Mesri is an Iran-based computer hacker who, at certain times, has been a member of ... Continue Reading

Head of Organization Backed by Chinese Energy Conglomerate, and Former Foreign Minister of Senegal, Charged with Bribing High-Level African Officials

On November 20, 2017, federal officials announced the unsealing of a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York against the head of a Hong Kong-based non-governmental organization (“NGO”) and the former Foreign Minister of Senegal in connection with an alleged multiyear foreign bribery scheme.  According to the complaint, Hong Kong resident Chi Ping Patrick Ho, head of an NGO funded by a Chinese conglomerate (the “Energy Company”), conspired with then–Senegalese Foreign Minister ... Continue Reading

Former New York Law Firm Partner Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud Two New York Law Firms

On November 20, 2017, Keila Ravelo, a former law firm partner, pled guilty to conspiring to defraud two New York law firms.  Ravelo pled guilty to an indictment charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.  From 2008 through July 2014, Ravelo and her husband, Melvin Feliz, conspired to defraud two law firms by forming two limited liability companies which purported to provide litigation support to ... Continue Reading

Chicago Investment Adviser Charged with Fraud for Allegedly Stealing More Than $5 Million from Clients

On November 15, 2017, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Joel R. Levin and Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Jeffrey S. Sallet announced the filing of an information charging Daniel Glick with one count of wire fraud.  Glick, who owned three accounting and financial services firms, was charged with lying to clients and forging checks and other documents in order to misappropriate client funds ... Continue Reading

Former Partner at International Law Firm Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading

On November 10, 2017, Walter C. Little, a former partner at an international law firm, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud.  Between February 2015 and May 2016, Little used his position at the firm to access material nonpublic information relating to a client’s anticipated delisting from the NASDAQ exchange, clients’ involvement in M&A transactions, clients’ anticipated earnings announcements, and a planned securities offering.  With this information, Little made securities trades and shared that ... Continue Reading

Two Executives Plead Guilty to Role in Foreign Bribery Scheme

On November 9, 2017, authorities announced two former executives of a Dutch oil and gas services company (the “Company”) pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA before the Honorable David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas.  According to documents filed with the court, former Company CEO Anthony “Tony” Mace and Robert Zubiate, a former sales and marketing executive at a Houston-based subsidiary of the Company, participated in a scheme to bribe officials of ... Continue Reading

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco Delivers Remarks at Foreign Corrupt Practices Act / Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Anniversary Conference at the NYU School of Law

On November 9, 2017, then–Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Criminal Division Kenneth A. Blanco delivered remarks at the NYU School of Law’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act / Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“FCPA/OECD”) Anniversary Conference in New York, held this year to mark the 40th anniversary of the FCPA and the 20th anniversary of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention (the “Convention”).  Blanco, who has since left the DOJ and will now serve as ... Continue Reading

Former Chief Financial Officer of American Realty Capital Partners Sentenced for Accounting Fraud

On November 8, 2017, Brian Block, the former Chief Financial Officer of American Realty Capital Partners (“ARCP”), was sentenced to 18 months in prison for inflating a key metric used to evaluate the financial performance of publicly traded REITs in ARCP’s filings with the SEC.  Block was convicted by a jury in June, following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.  According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Block and ... Continue Reading

Day Trader Indicted in Computer Hacking and Securities Fraud Scheme Targeting Online Brokerage Accounts

On November 8, 2017, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn returned a four-count indictment charging Pennsylvania resident Joseph P. Willner with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and computer intrusions, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  According to the indictment, Willner and others conspired to hack into the online brokerage accounts of numerous victims and to place unauthorized trades in those accounts between September 2014 and May 2017.  Willner ... Continue Reading

Five Individuals Charged in Foreign Bribery Scheme Involving Rolls-Royce Plc and Its U.S. Subsidiary

On November 7, 2017, federal authorities announced criminal charges against five individuals in connection with an alleged foreign bribery scheme involving Rolls-Royce Plc. (“Rolls-Royce”) and its U.S.-based subsidiary.  According to the DOJ’s press release and related court filings, Petros Contoguris, the founder and CEO of Gravitas & Cie. International Ltd. (“Gravitas”), former Rolls-Royce employees James Finley, Keith Barnett, and Aloysius Zuurhout, and international engineering consulting firm executive Andreas Kohler conspired to bribe foreign officials in ... Continue Reading

Hedge Fund Chairman Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Conspiracy to Commit Securities and Wire Fraud

On November 7, 2017, Nicholas Mitsakos was sentenced by Judge Denny Chin to 30 months in prison and two years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud.  Mitsakos, who had pled guilty on May 25, 2017, was also required to forfeit over $860,000 and to pay restitution to victims.  In order to attract investors to “Matrix Capital,” a hedge fund he created in October 2013, Mitsakos sent marketing materials claiming ... Continue Reading

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to $100 Million Market Manipulation Scheme Involving Fitbit Stock

On November 7, 2017, Robert Walter Murray pled guilty to securities fraud in connection with a stock manipulation scheme involving a sham tender offer for outstanding Fitbit, Inc. stock.  According to the indictment and statements made in public court proceedings, Murray, claiming to be an officer of a China-based entity called ABM Capital, filed a sham tender offer to purchase all outstanding Fitbit stock at a significant premium to its then-existing market price with the ... Continue Reading

Former CEO of Arthrocare Corporation Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Role in $750 Million Securities Fraud Scheme

On November 3, 2017, Michael Baker, the former CEO of publicly traded medical device company ArthroCare Corporation (“ArthroCare”), was sentenced to 240 months in prison for his role in a scheme that resulted in shareholder losses of more than $750 million.  Following a two-week retrial, Baker was convicted in August of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, two counts of securities fraud, and two counts ... Continue Reading