Subscribe to RSS - Smith & Co

Smith & Co

‘Arrogant’ McGinn gets 15-year sentence

 - 
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It wasn’t the life term prosecutors sought, but 65-year-old security industry investor Timothy McGinn today was sentenced to be in federal prison until he’s 80. McGinn had asked for a more lenient sentence after being convicted earlier this year of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion in a Ponzi-like scheme that caused investors to lose millions. A judge spurned that request, calling McGinn  “arrogant,” news reports say.

David L. Smith, 68, McGinn's former partner in the Albany, N.Y.-based brokerage firm of McGinn, Smith & Co., which conducted dealings in the alarm industry, received a sentence of 10 years. Smith was convicted of the same charges on Feb. 6, but of fewer counts than McGinn. The judge criticized Smith for "going along" with McGinn with no regard for the law, according to an Albany Times Union story on the sentencing.

Here’s more from the Times Union on what happened in court today:
 

"I came up with one word that describes your downfall -- and that word is arrogant," U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd told McGinn.

"You ran your business and you didn't really care about the rules as long as you made money for you and your favorite clients," the judge continued.

… The crimes for which [McGinn and Smith] were convicted carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison. However, the Justice Department said federal sentencing guidelines call for life sentences because of aggravating factors that include the high amount of losses, number of victims and the sophisticated nature of the scheme.

Prosecutors said McGinn and Smith not only defrauded investors but diverted approximately $4.1 million from investment trusts for their own benefit. They said the two created false loan documents, misled investors and lied to federal regulators.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Coombe reject McGinn and Smith's assertions that the collapse of their business was caused by a downturn in the economy not criminal conduct.

… The former brokers' attorneys asked Hurd to sentence their clients to no more than "single-digit" prison sentences for their crimes, according to court documents unsealed last week at the request by the Times Union.

… [McGinn and Smith were indicted by a grand jury in early 2012.] ... [This February] McGinn was convicted on 27 of the 29 counts he faced; Smith on 15 of 28 counts. Both were convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and failure to file a tax return.

 

Life in prison for McGinn, Smith?

 - 
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Security industry investors Timothy McGinn and David L. Smith are set to be sentenced next week and could spend the rest of their lives in prison after being convicted of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion earlier this year.

That’s the sentence prosecutors want a judge to impose on the pair—formerly partners at the Albany, N.Y.-based brokerage firm of McGinn, Smith & Co., which conducted dealings in the alarm industry—when they appear in court on Aug. 7, according to the Time Union, an Albany-based newspaper. Life in prison is warranted because the pair caused at least 250 victims to lose more than $30 million, prosecutors say.

However, McGinn, 64, and Smith, 68, are seeking leniency and having friends and relatives send letters testifying to their good characters, according to news reports.

Here’s more from the recent Times Union article:
 

In a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday, assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth C. Coombe said the maximum term of imprisonment is warranted by factors that include more than $30 million in losses to at least 250 victims. She said the defendants' argument that their misdeeds were caused by a collapsing financial market "misses the mark."

"After persuading investors to part with their money, defendants used it as if it were their own. Not only did they secretly skim large percentages of investor funds to line their own pockets, but they did their very best to make sure that the investments would keep coming in by using new investor money to pay old investors," Coombe wrote in a 13-page memorandum addressed to U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd.

The government also filed a motion seeking $30.2 million in forfeiture penalties from McGinn and Smith, whose bank accounts and assets were frozen three years ago under court orders. It's unclear that they have the assets to pay the proposed penalty.

A federal jury on Feb. 6 convicted the pair of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, and filing false tax returns. The two also were the target of a civil suit by the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming they bilked investors of at least $80 million in a Ponzi scheme.

However, McGinn and Smith, formerly partners at the brokerage firm of McGinn, Smith & Co., filed motions asking a federal judge to overturn their convictions, saying the government’s claims were “based on the complete failure of the government to attempt to comprehend concepts of investment banking and the inner-workings of running a broker-dealer.”

It will be interesting to see what the judge decides in this case. Stay posted.