New Obstruction-Related Charges Filed Against Former Bank Vice President Convicted In Insider Trading Securities Fraud Scam
Convicted Fraudster Allegedly Ginned Up False Letters Of Support In Bid To Obtain Light Sentence for Securities Fraud Crimes
SAN JOSE – The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed new federal criminal charges against former Silicon Valley Bank vice president Mounir Gad adding document tampering, identity theft, and criminal contempt to the list of federal charges the convicted fraudster now will face, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair. The new charges are filed in connection with allegedly false and altered documents Gad submitted to the federal court for his sentencing in his securities fraud case.
The criminal complaint was filed on November 19, 2021, and unsealed today. According to the complaint, on October 27, 2021, Gad, 35, of Los Gatos, submitted to the federal court 12 letters of support in advance of his sentencing for two counts of securities fraud. The criminal complaint alleges that half of these letters were improperly altered or entirely fabricated. Specifically, of the twelve letters submitted, Gad altered three of them without the authors’ knowledge, adding additional language praising Gad. Additionally, Gad submitted three more letters that were not written by the purported authors and without the purported authors’ knowledge. On November 3, 2021, before the alleged problems with the sentencing documents had come to light, the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge, sentenced Gad to two years of probation, a $500 fine, and a $200 assessment for each count of securities fraud. Gad now faces criminal charges in connection with the documents he submitted for that sentencing.
This sentencing followed Gad’s guilty plea to two counts of securities fraud, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b) and 78ff, 17 C.F.R. §§ 240.10b-5, 240.10b5-1, and 240.10b5-2, 18 U.S.C. § 2. In connection with the guilty plea, Gad admitted he was a trained investment banking professional who repeatedly received training and guidance about the proper use of material non-public and confidential information. Gad also admitted he knew about the prohibitions against the improper use of such information including how the use of such information for personal gain may violate the insider trading laws. Gad nevertheless violated the insider trading laws on two occasions. Specifically, in April of 2015 and again in August of 2016, Gad obtained material non-public information through his employer when the bank advised clients about financial matters related to the acquisition of certain companies; Gad shared the non-public information with a codefendant who used the information to execute securities transactions.
After accepting Gad’s request to enter a plea of guilty, Judge Koh scheduled Gad’s sentencing hearing for November 3, 2021. According to the criminal complaint, one of Gad’s references, identified as B.L., prepared a letter for the court in advance of the hearing and emailed the letter to Gad. B.L. then attended the November 3 sentencing hearing. The criminal complaint describes how B.L. heard at the sentencing hearing the court reference statements in a letter submitted in her name that she had not written and were not true. B.L. contacted Gad’s defense attorney who, in turn, notified the Court. The criminal complaint further describes how the Court scheduled a subsequent hearing on November 10, 2021, at which Judge Koh stated, “What I considered and what I found to be very compelling about this letter, are lies that Mr. Gad put in the letter.”
In addition, the criminal complaint further describes how Gad allegedly altered the letters of two additional persons who submitted letters on Gad’s behalf. In each case, the alterations included praise of Gad’s good character, including praise for having “the highest integrity and character,” for being “productive in a moral and ethical way,” and for how Gad “saved [B.L.’s] life with his story, with his accountability, and with his dignity.” Furthermore, the complaint describes how Gad allegedly submitted three letters to the Court without the purported authors’ knowledge. The bogus letters were from Gad’s ex-fiancé, and two additional people who previously submitted letters on behalf of Gad in connection with other litigation.
In sum, the criminal complaint charges Gad with document tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(1); identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7); and criminal contempt, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 401(1).
A criminal complaint contains allegations only. Gad is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted, Gad faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for document tampering and 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for identity theft. There is no statutory maximum penalty for criminal contempt. The court also may order additional terms of supervised release and fines; however, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Gad made his initial federal court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore. Magistrate Judge Westmore scheduled Gad’s ’s next appearance on the new charges for November 26, 2021, for detention and identification of counsel. Gad also is scheduled to appear December 8, 2021, before Judge Koh for further proceedings related to the securities fraud charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Griswold is prosecuting this case with assistance from Lynette Dixon. The case is being investigated by the FBI.