After a three week trial, a jury found Samuel “Mouli” Cohen guilty on 29 of the 35 counts in the superseding indictment including 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering and three counts of tax evasion.
As previously reported, in August 2010, federal prosecutors in California unsealed a criminal indictment charging Samuel “Mouli” Cohen of 19 counts of wire fraud and 13 counts of “engaging in Monetary Transactions in Criminally Derived Property.” The charges stem from allegations that Cohen defrauded over 55 investors, including actor Danny Glover, out of more than $30 million with claims that his company was about to be acquired by Microsoft Corp.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Cohen falsely told prospective investors, that his company, Ecast, Inc., was about to be acquired by Microsoft and falsely told investors that first United States regulators, and later European Union regulators, were delaying the approval of the acquisition. Over the course of approximately three years investors paid $25 million toward this purported acquisition based on Cohen’s false representations about the non-existent acquisition of Ecast.
There was “no actual or potential acquisition of Ecast by Microsoft.” Cohen spent $6 million of investors money on private jet rentals, hundreds of thousands of dollars on jewelry, vacations and expensive cars and $15,000 a month to rent a lavish home in Belvedere, California all while reporting “almost no income on his tax returns” and “paid zero taxes.”
Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1, 2012.