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Press Release

Former Fund Manager Sentenced to Prison for Fraud and Filing a False Tax Return

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

An Eagle River, Wisconsin man, who resided in San Francisco, California, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Tuesday December 4, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Robert Seeborg in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and United States Attorney Alex G. Tse.

According to court documents, in December 2017, Burrill, 74, pleaded guilty to investment adviser fraud and filing a false 2010 individual income tax return that failed to report millions of dollars. Burrill was the owner and CEO of Burrill Capital, LLC and a number of related entities. Through these entities, he managed investment funds, including Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund III, L.P. (the Fund), an investment fund focused on the life sciences industry. The Fund was comprised of total committed capital of approximately $283 million. To accomplish his scheme, Burrill caused the Fund to transfer millions of dollars in advance management fees to companies he controlled, although Burrill knew that he was not permitted to draw such advance fees. Burrill then filed a false federal income tax return that did not report millions in fees that he had illegally diverted.

Marc Berger, Burrill’s accountant, was convicted at trial of assisting Burrill with filing a false income tax return. He is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and United States Attorney Alex G. Tse commended special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation and FBI, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Leach and Trial Attorney Lori A. Hendrickson, Tax Division, who prosecuted the case. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Tse also thanked the San Francisco Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which provided assistance in this matter.

Updated December 7, 2018

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 18-1615