The Mouli Cohen trial is set to begin on Monday, October 17, 2011. The trial is on Judge Breyer’s calendar through Thursday, November 17, 2011.
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.
While we will be keeping our eye on the case as it progresses, some interesting revelations were made in a few filings by Cohen’s attorney and by the government last week including allegations that Cohen’s art collection was a fake:
- In a Joint Statement of the Case filed on October 12, 2011, the government alleges that Cohen “enticed individuals to purchase shares in a company called Ecast by falsely telling those individuals that the company was about to be acquired by Microsoft and that the acquisition would result in the shares of Ecast becoming highly valuable.” Cohen alleged that all of the money invested from 2005 through 2007 referenced in the indictment were “loans to Signet, convertible into the defendant’s Procinea stock.” Cohen controlled both Signet and Procinea.
- The government is set to bring evidence of Cohen’s luxurious lifestyle and that he used to “fraudulently obtained money to make personal expenditures on, for example, planes, automobiles, jewelry, credit card bills, and publishing a cookbook.” Among the evidence brought about Cohen’s luxurious lifestyle, the government is expected to bring evidence that Cohen “spent millions of dollars of investor money renting private jets for personal travel to vacation destinations.”
- One of the government’s exhibits is 500 pages (that is not a typo) of American Express statements for Stacy Cohen (Mouli Cohen’s wife) from January 2005 through December 2008.
- Cohen allegedly claimed a $96,234 income loss on his tax return in 2004 and “no other income” despite the fact that he sold $6.2 million worth of shares of Ecast stock during the same period.
- Cohen reportedly boasted to investors about his impressive art collection “telling various victims that some of his art was on loan to museums or boasting of his collection of Matisse, Calder, and other famous artists.” The government alleges that it was fake. The government will bring evidence that Cohen hired someone to “reproduce several paintings” and that the artist was told “not to tell anyone that they were reproductions.” Cohen allegedly paid the artist “a few thousand dollars to reproduce paintings purportedly worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.”