Case Name: United States v. William J. Sears, et al.
Court Number: 16-cr-00301-WJM
Defendants’ Names: William J. Sears and Scott M. Dittman
Case Summary: As set forth in the Information, the United States has alleged that, beginning as early as in or about March 25, 2011 and continuing at least through in or about May 15, 2014, the defendants knowingly and willfully conspired to commit securities fraud and wire fraud through FusionPharm, Inc. Specifically, Sears and Dittman reported to the public that certain sales transactions and revenues for FusionPharm had occurred when, in fact, they had not.
The United States has further alleged that Sears and Dittman would falsely represent to FusionPharm’s transfer agent and to broker-dealers that neither Sears nor companies related to him was an affiliate or control person of FusionPharm, thereby allowing Sears’ and the related companies’ FusionPharm shares to be treated as unrestricted securities that could be immediately sold in the public securities markets under the ticker symbol FSPM.
Case status: Following the filing of the Information, both defendants William Sears and Scott Dittman notified the Court of their intent to plead guilty to the charges filed. On November 14, 2016, a change of plea hearing was held for defendant Sears, at which time Sears entered guilty pleas to both counts of the Information, pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States, and was adjudged guilty of those counts by the Hon. William J. Martinez, the presiding district judge in the case. On January 31, 2017, a change of plea hearing was held for defendant Dittman, at which time Dittman entered a guilty plea to Count One of the Information, pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States, and was adjudged guilty of that count by the Hon. William J. Martinez.
The Court has not set a sentencing date for either defendant Sears or defendant Dittman. The court will not sentence the defendants until the adjudication of all claims in a related case, United States v. Guy M. Jean-Pierre (Colorado criminal case number 17-cr-0008-WJM). The docket for this case is available through a link on the FusionPharm victim main page.
In addition, the United States has currently seized approximately $9 million, which it alleges is traceable to the criminal conduct set forth in the information. The United States anticipates the majority of these funds will be criminally forfeited. However, the United States does not anticipate obtaining a restitution order. Accordingly, at the appropriate time, victims of the alleged criminal conduct will be able to petition the Attorney General to recover a portion of their losses from these forfeited funds.
If you believe you are a victim of the alleged criminal conduct in this case and desire additional information related to the criminal case or to be notified of your right to petition for recovery of your pecuniary losses at the appropriate time, you may send an email to the following address: usaco.FusionPharm@usdoj.gov. Please include the following information in your email: your name; your mailing address; your email address; the amount of FusionPharm stock you currently hold; the dates and amounts of FusionPharm stock you purchased; if applicable, any intermediary brokerage firm you used to purchase FusionPharm stock; and any other information you believe would assist in identifying you as a victim of the alleged criminal conduct. You may provide this information by completing the form provided here and attaching that form to your email. Please know additional information may be required in the future for the potential return of any funds. (Click here for a pdf form to fill out and attach to your email)