Members of the Oklahoma business community may remember the story of disgraced Silicon Valley businessman Mike Rothenberg when the venture firm he founded ended in failure. Unfortunately for Rothenberg, the end of the story has not yet been written.
The Department of Justice is now charging Rothenberg with white-collar crimes that include two allegations of wire fraud, a money laundering charge, and accusations that the former CEO made false statements to a banking institution. The consequences could be brutal if Rothenberg is convicted of the charges. So brutal in fact, the most serious of the charges lodged against Rothenberg carry a 30-year prison sentence.
Rothenberg’s venture company began in 2012 and imploded a short time later in 2016. However, prosecutors say Rothenberg and his outfit did a considerable amount of damage in that time period. The DOJ alleges Rothenberg closed the first of the four venture funds he started and initiated the second fund by making false statements to a bank regarding his personal wealth.
In 2015, prosecutors allege that Rothenberg illegally transferred money from the fund to himself. He then covered up his actions by obtaining a $4 million credit line from a bank in a fraudulent manner.
The DOJ says Rothenberg continued to dig a hole for himself when he schemed an investor out of $2 million dollars. He told the investor he would use the money to invest in a virtual reality production company that goes by the name of River Studios. A report from the DOJ says that very little of the money was used to invest in the studio.
Accusations for white-collar crimes can do serious damage to the reputation and financial future of the accused. These accusations can also result in time spent in jail. Individuals accused of white-collar crimes may benefit from the services of a good criminal attorney.