In August, former president and board chairman of Gerova Financial Group Gary Hirst was sentenced to 78 months in prison, one year of supervised release and $19,038,650.53 in forfeiture for defrauding shareholders in a scheme that lost Gerova $72 million.  From 2009 through 2011, Hirst and his co-conspirators caused over five million shares of Gerova stock to be issued in the name of a foreign nominee, Ymer Shahini, for the purpose of concealing the coconspirators interest in the stock and avoid SEC regulations for issuing unregistered stock.  The coconspirators also fabricated and doctored documentation in an effort to evade detection, leading Gerova to fail to disclose the stock issuance as required in their public SEC filings.  Hirst and his coconspirators also opened and managed brokerage accounts in Shahini’s name as a way to receive and conceal proceeds of the conspiracy.  The co-conspirators earned almost $20 million in profits, with Hirst receiving $2.6 million personally.  Hirst’s co-conspirators pled guilty to various charges, and Shahini is currently a fugitive from the law.  U.S. v. Galanis et al., No. 1:15-cr-00643 (S.D.N.Y.).

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