Former Corporate Executives of Samarion, Inc. Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud Investors
Jackson, Miss – Mark E. Rodgers, 53, currently from Houston, Texas, the former Chief Executive Officer and President of Samarion Solutions, Inc., in Ridgeland, Mississippi, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to 60 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his participation in a securities fraud conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, FBI Special Agent in Charge Don Alway, and Joseph Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission. A forfeiture of $312,063.70 in the form of a money judgment was also ordered.
Samer N’Ser, 54, of Ridgeland, the former Chief Technology Officer of Samarion Solutions, Inc., was also sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III. N’Ser was ordered to serve 37 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his participation in the conspiracy. A forfeiture of $100,000 in the form of a money judgement was ordered.
Rodgers and N’Ser were ordered to pay $14,884,389.35, jointly and severally, in restitution to defrauded investors.
Beginning in 2006 and continuing until approximately October, 2009, Rodgers and N’Ser conspired to intentionally mislead Samarion, Inc., investors in Mississippi, Alabama and elsewhere. During that time, Samarion, Inc., formerly known as Valence Broadband, Inc., was a corporation operating out of Madison County, Mississippi. The business plan of the company was to produce a viable monitoring system, commonly referred to as the "Samarion Solution", for installation in nursing homes, and elsewhere, that could predict when a patient might fall, and prevent abuse and/or neglect by staff, and improve the over-all care of nursing home patients. Rodgers and N’Ser engaged in a course of business which operated as a fraud and deceit upon the purchasers of the stock, using wire communications and the U.S. Mail to further that activity.
Both Rodgers and N’Ser were involved in the offer and sale of stock to investors and conspired to fraudulently misrepresent to potential investors material facts that would affect their decision to invest, including the financial strength of the company and the true functionality and capacity of the product, among other things. Rodgers and N’Ser sold stock to investors representing that the investment funds would be used solely for the business purposes of the company, and instead used some of the money for their own personal benefit, including personal loans to each, an unauthorized bonus for Rodgers, and the purchase of a 2007 Land Rover SUV titled in Rodgers name. N’Ser and Rodgers fraudulently used Samarion investor funds to loan approximately $500,000 to C First Class Corporation, a company that was unrelated to Samarion or its business purpose, but for which Rodgers also served as a board member. Rodgers fraudulently concealed his personal interest in that company from the Samarion Board of Directors.
"Rodgers and N’Ser convinced approximately 300 clients to invest millions of dollars in their company through fraud and deceit," said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. "The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work with federal, state and local investigative agencies to pursue and prosecute those who seek to defraud investors and damage the marketplace." U.S. Attorney Davis praised the work of the FBI, the Alabama Securities Commission, Madison County, Alabama, District Attorney’s Office, and the Madison County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Department.
"Those who illegally use their insider position for personal financial gain threaten the stability and confidence of our financial systems here in Mississippi and throughout the United States," said Don Alway, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. "Unfortunately, there are likely many more of these kinds of cases out there. Rest assured, the FBI in Mississippi will aggressively investigate these violations."
Joseph Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission said, "I want to thank the Office of Greg Davis, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Office of Robert L. Broussard, Madison County, Alabama District Attorney; the Madison County, Alabama Sheriff’s Department and the Alabama Securities Commission staff for working together to ensure this conviction and to see that justice was served for the victims. The successful prosecution demonstrates the outstanding results that are achieved when federal, state and local law enforcement work together."
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carla J. Clark, Chief of the Criminal Division. It was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Securities Commission.