SAN JOSE– Former Silicon Valley Bank vice president Mounir Gad was sentenced today to fifteen months in prison after having submitted several falsified letters of reference in connection with his sentencing for a previous securities fraud conviction, announced U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. Today’s sentence was handed down by the Hon. Edward J. Davila, United States District Judge.
Gad, 36, of Los Gatos, pleaded guilty to the document-falsification-related charges on October 27, 2022. In pleading guilty, Gad acknowledged he previously had been charged with, and pleaded guilty to, securities fraud violations in connection with an insider trading scheme. The securities case involved Gad’s decision as a trained investment banking professional to violate insider trading laws on two occasions. Gad made a federal court appearance on November 3, 2021, before United States District Judge Lucy H. Koh to be sentenced for his securities fraud crimes. At that time, Gad argued he should not be sent to prison, and instead should be sentenced only to probation, in part because “[Gad’s] friends and family—including his ex-fiancée—all roundly attest to Mr. Gad’s strength of character, loyalty, and dedication to his community.” In support of this argument, Gad submitted twelve letters of reference. Gad now acknowledges that six of the twelve letters he submitted to the judge in connection with his November 3, 2021, sentencing were not authentic. With respect to three of the letters, Gad made changes to the versions he had received from his references before submitting them to the court, without the references’ knowledge or permission. With respect to the three others, Gad submitted them on behalf of individuals who had not written any support letter in connection with his sentencing—two of the letters were written for reasons having nothing to do with the sentencing and were altered by Gad before they were submitted, and one, purportedly written by his ex-fiancée, was written by Gad in its entirety without the knowledge or permission of the purported author.
The inauthenticity of the letters came to light after Gad’s November 3, 2021, sentencing hearing. At the hearing, Judge Koh described on the record her thoughts regarding a story from a falsified portion of a letter—a letter purportedly written from someone who attended the hearing. The purported author later informed Gad’s attorney that she had not written the information that Judge Koh referenced at the hearing. A subsequent hearing took place on November 10, 2021, at which Judge Koh explained that the portions of the letter she found very compelling were “lies that Mr. Gad put in the letter.” Still, Gad did not admit during the November 10, 2021, hearing that six of his twelve reference letters were, in fact, falsified. Instead, he stated to Judge Koh, “I promise you, Your Honor, that was the only one. Every other letter is as it is.” A subsequent investigation revealed this statement was untrue.
On January 13, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Gad, charging him with three counts of tampering with documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(1); three counts of tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2); six counts of identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C.§ 1028(a)(7) and (b)(2)(B); and one count of criminal contempt, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 401(1). Gad pleaded guilty to all the charges without a plea agreement.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Davila also ordered Gad to serve thirty-six months of supervised release and imposed a $10,000 fine and a $1,300 special assessment. Judge Davila ordered Gad to surrender on or before May 24, 2023 to begin serving his prison term.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Wistar Wilson and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Bostic and Sarah E. Griswold are prosecuting this case with assistance from Veronica Hernandez, Lynette Dixon, and Susan Kreider. The case is being investigated by the FBI.