Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring with Michael Mann to Defraud Financing Companies
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Luke E. Steiner, age 31, of Minnesota, pled guilty yesterday to conspiring with Michael T. Mann to defraud financing companies out of millions of dollars.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Steiner worked at Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. In pleading guilty, he admitted that between 2013 and September 2019, he conspired with Mann and others to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in loans for Mann’s companies.
Steiner admitted that he worked with Mann to induce financing companies to loan money on the basis of fake invoices purporting to show payments owed by his employer, Optum, to Mann’s companies. Steiner’s role was to falsely represent to the financing companies that the fake invoices were valid and payable by Optum when, in fact, he knew that they were not. He admitted that the conspiracy caused a total of $12,968,505.22 in losses to two financing companies, one based in New York and the other in Colorado.
Steiner faces up to 20 years in prison, and up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, when he is sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn. He has agreed to entry of an order requiring him to pay $12,968,505.22 in restitution. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
Mann, age 49, of Saratoga County, operated ValueWise Corporation and other companies based in Clifton Park, New York. He is charged with bank fraud. The charges in the criminal complaint against Mann are merely accusations. Mann is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
These cases are being investigated by the FBI, and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Barnett and Cyrus P.W. Rieck.
Updated February 6, 2020