Gerova Financial Group Chairman and Two Others Plead Guilty in Scam to Defraud Native American Tribe and Other Investors
Gary Hirst, Jason Galanis, and Hugh Dunkerley have all pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to a scam to defraud a Native American tribal entity and a number of investment advisory clients. Prosecutors contend that the three men took part in a scam to misappropriate bond proceeds from securities issued by the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation and to use money in asset management firm clients’ accounts to buy the bonds. The clients were then not able to buy or sell the bonds, because the securities were not liquid and did not have a ready secondary market.
Hirst, who pleaded guilty to four fraud counts, now faces up to 35 years in prison and $2.75M in fines. The former chairman of Gerova Financial Group Ltd was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison last year for defrauding shareholders when he secretly awarded himself and others almost $72M of the reinsurer’s stock. Hirst also had to forfeit approximately $19M.