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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bay Area Fraudster Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison For Duping Investors Out Of More Than $3 Million

SAN FRANCISCO- Marc Christopher Harmon was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge, after Harmon was tried and found guilty by a federal jury.

Harmon, 44, formerly of San Leandro, Calif., was charged in an indictment filed July 3, 2014, along with co-conspirator Jason George Rivera, Jr., 38, of Danville, Calif., in a scheme to defraud multiple investors of more than $3 million.  The evidence at trial demonstrated that between October 2008 and January 2011, Harmon and Rivera used a Nevada corporation known as Executive Members Management Group, or EMMG, as a vehicle to defraud investors.  The scheme involved promises that EMMG would purchase or trade collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) using funds provided by the investors, or would invest their funds in other lucrative transactions.  Rivera and Harmon convinced victims to invest substantial sums of money, by promising, among other things, high rates of returns by participating in exclusive trading markets overseas and funding short-term loans for banks.  The evidence at trial demonstrated Harmon’s role included recruiting investors to EMMG and making many false representations to induce the investors to contribute to non-existent investment programs. 

On July 3, 2014, a grand jury returned an indictment charging defendants with eight counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.  Rivera also was charged with two counts of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201.  On July 29, 2015, Rivera pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge and the two tax evasion counts.  As against Harmon, the government dismissed two counts of fraud and the jury convicted him of all the remaining charges.  Following trial, on October 11, 2016, Harmon entered into a post-trial plea agreement with the government in which he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Seeborg sentenced Harmon to three years of supervised release and $1,837,500 in restitution.   Harmon is in custody and will begin serving his sentence immediately. 

Rivera was sentenced on February 8, 2017, to 33 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and $2,045,207 in restitution.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Kingsley and Shailika Kotiya are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Bridget Kilkenny.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI and IRS, Criminal Investigation.

Financial Fraud
Updated April 3, 2017