Cohn was sentenced to nine months of home confinement in exchange for his guilty plea.
Michael Cohn, former chief compliance officer of GPB Capital Holdings, pleaded guilty to charges of theft of government property in September 2020. Cohn was charged in October 2019 with obstruction of justice, theft of government property, and unauthorized disclosure of public information. Cohn admitted in his plea that he accessed confidential information regarding the SEC investigation into GPB Capital.
The federal government recommended a prison sentence of up to six months for Cohn. However, the judge sentenced Cohn to nine months of home confinement.
Prior to joining GPB Capital, Cohn was employed by the SEC. It was through this employment that the DOJ alleged Cohn retrieved confidential information, including information relating to an investigation into GPB Capital. Cohn allegedly used this information to get a job with GPB Capital, where he was set to earn $400,000 per year, and would likely oversee the very investigation he learned about through his SEC employment.
Prosecutors stated that Cohn’s behavior violated the public trust that citizens place in government employees to maintain ethical standards. By accepting the role at GPB, Cohn placed himself in a position to “unlawfully influence” the firm’s response to the SEC’s investigation, according to the prosecutors in Cohn’s case.
In February 2021, the SEC filed a complaint against GPB Capital charging the firm, its CEO, and the head of its placement agency with defrauding 17,000 retail investors of $1.7 billion in a Ponzi-like scheme.
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