Former Chief Financial Officer of Pharmaceutical Company Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to Auditors About Improper Accounting

On November 2, 2017, Philip Jacoby, the former CFO of Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., pled guilty to one count of making false statements to auditors in connection with a review of Osiris’s 2014 10-K and third quarter 2015 10-Q filings.  In September 2013, Osiris agreed with the FDA that it would not sell one of its products, Ovation, after December 31, 2014.  An Osiris distributor wanted to continue to be able to access Ovation after that ... Continue Reading

Brooklyn Resident Charged with Securities Fraud Conspiracy in Two Initial Offerings of Cryptocurrency

On November 1, 2017, a criminal complaint was unsealed against Maksim Zaslavskiy, charging him with securities fraud conspiracy in connection with fraudulent misstatements made to investors in two initial coin offerings.  Zaslavskiy conducted these virtual currency offerings through two of his companies, REcoin Group Foundation, LLC and DRC World, Inc. To attract investors, Zaslavskiy and his associates told them that investments in REcoin were hedged by investments in real estate and physical diamonds, but these ... Continue Reading

Spouse of Lawyer at International Law Firm Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading

On October 30, 2017, Fei Yan, a post-doctoral associate at a university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts pled guilty to insider trading.  Yan’s spouse worked at an international law firm where she learned material nonpublic information concerning the acquisition of Stillwater Mining Company, a publicly traded company whose shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.  While his spouse was working on the potential merger, Yan conducted online research into how to commit insider trading ... Continue Reading

Connecticut Resident Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy for Participating in Multimillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme

On October 30, 2017, Connecticut resident Steven Simmons pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud stemming from his role in an alleged Ponzi scheme.  According to the superseding indictment filed against Simmons and other related filings with the court, Simmons solicited more than $6 million in investments for a hedge fund between 2013 and January 2017 by making false representations to investors that the funds would be placed ... Continue Reading

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks at Cybersecurity Summits

In October 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein addressed attendees at three cybersecurity summits: the Cambridge Cyber Summit, the Global Cyber Security Summit, and the 2017 North American International Cyber Summit.  At all three conferences, Rosenstein focused on three areas: (1) the “scope of the cybersecurity threat” that confronts the United States, (2) the challenges the government faces in countering these threats, and (3) the “ways that law enforcement can help, before, during, and ... Continue Reading

Virginia Hedge Fund Manager Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Wire Fraud

On October 23, 2017, the Honorable Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced former hedge fund manager Tamer Moumen to 10 years’ imprisonment, after Moumen pled guilty to wire fraud in May 2017 in connection with a $9.5 million investment scheme.  Moumen, the founder of Crescent Ridge Capital Partners, was additionally ordered to forfeit $9.5 million and to pay $7.5 million in restitution to victims.  According to documents filed with the court, ... Continue Reading

Electrolytic Capacitor Manufacturer Indicted for Participation in Price-Fixing Conspiracy

On October 18, 2017, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California in San Francisco returned an indictment charging Nippon Chemi-Con, a Japanese electrolytic capacitor manufacturer, with conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors, which store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products.  According to the indictment, between 1997 and 2014, Nippon Chemi-Con agreed with co-conspirators to fix prices of electronic capacitors, sold in accordance with these agreements, and took ... Continue Reading

CodeSmart Holdings, Inc. CEO and Attorney Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud in Market Manipulation Scheme

On October 18, 2017, Ira Shapiro, the former Chief Executive Officer of CodeSmart Holdings, Inc., and Darren Ofsink, the founder of Ofsink LLC, each pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The defendants twice fraudulently inflated the share price of CodeSmart, a publicly traded company, and sold their shares after the manipulated price reached high levels.  On the same day that CodeSmart reached its highest share price, it filed an amended ... Continue Reading

Founder and CEO of Investment Fund Pleads Guilty to Commodities Fraud

On October 13, 2017, the founder and CEO of investment fund Wright Time Capital Group (“WTCG”) pled guilty to one count of commodities fraud stemming from his operation of a forex-related investment scheme.  According to authorities, New York resident Michael S. Wright obtained more than $400,000 in investments from victims since January 2011 by misrepresenting WTCG’s historical trading performance.  Wright reportedly issued falsified account statements to WTCG investors to create the appearance of successful forex ... Continue Reading

Westchester Hedge Fund Manager Arrested in Connection with Alleged Ponzi Scheme

On October 5, 2017, Westchester County hedge fund manager Michael Scronic was arrested and charged with one count of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud for allegedly operating a $19 million Ponzi scheme.  Authorities allege Scronic, manager of the Scronic Macro Fund (the “Fund”), obtained more than $19 million from approximately 45 investors since April 2010 through misrepresentations as to the Fund’s performance and issuance of falsified account statements.  Scronic allegedly held out ... Continue Reading

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roger Alford Gives Address at International Conference on the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Challenges

On October 3, 2017, Roger Alford, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International Affairs at the DOJ Antitrust Division, delivered an address at the International Conference on the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Challenges in São Paulo, Brazil.  Mr. Alford noted that corruption hurts countries’ economies by impeding competition, which in turn “creates a high risk that prices will be distorted and products and services will be substandard” and “disadvantages honest businesses that do not pay ... Continue Reading

Technology Company’s Former CEO and Founder Sentenced to 49 Months in Prison for Defrauding Investors

On September 29, 2017, the Honorable Denise L. Cote of the Southern District of New York sentenced former technology company CEO and founder Maryse Liburdi to 49 months in prison for a scheme to defraud investors in her company.  Liburdi was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $7.07 million in forfeiture, and an additional $7.07 million in restitution to victims of the scheme.  From at least 2010 to 2015, ... Continue Reading

Former Broker-Dealer Managing Director Sentenced for Public Pension Fund Bribery Scheme

On September 29, 2017, the Honorable J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York sentenced a New York broker-dealer’s former managing director of institutional fixed income sales Deborah Kelley to three years’ probation, including six months of home confinement. Kelley was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine, $187,900 in forfeiture, and complete 1000 hours of community service; restitution will be determined within 90 days.  Kelley pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities ... Continue Reading

Nine Indicted for Insider Trading Allegations

On September 28, 2017, nine defendants were indicted on fraud charges based on allegations they traded on nonpublic information regarding an impending corporate acquisition, resulting in illegal profits of $866,629.  According to the indictment, in 2015 Shane Fleming, a vice president of corporate sales at Life Time Fitness, Inc. of Minnesota, obtained inside information about the sale of Life Time Fitness to two private equity firms.  This information was shared with his friend and business ... Continue Reading

Residential Home Funding Corp. Settles Civil Mortgage Fraud Suit

On September 28, 2017, acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney settled a mortgage fraud lawsuit against Residential Home Funding Corp. (“Residential Home”) based on their participation in the Federal Housing Administration’s Direct Endorsement Lender Program (“DEL Program”).  Residential Home agreed to pay $1.67 million, based on an ability to pay analysis, and admitted and accepted responsibility for failure to maintain a compliant quality control program and for approving FHA insurance loans that did not meet HUD-established standards.  ... Continue Reading