Former Silicon Valley Bank vice president Mounir Gad was sentenced Monday to 15 months in prison for submitting several falsified letters of reference in connection with his sentencing for a previous securities fraud conviction.
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila handed down the sentence to Gad, 36, of Los Gatos, in federal court in San Jose.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp reported that Gad had pleaded guilty on Oct. 27 to the document-falsification charges in connection with a 2021 conviction for securities fraud in an insider trading scheme.
In the securities case, Gad, an investment banker, violated insider trading laws on two occasions.
When he appeared in court in November 2021 before District Judge Lucy H. Koh to be sentenced for his securities fraud crimes,Gad argued he should not be sent to prison, and instead should be sentenced only to probation, in part because his “friends and family—including his ex-fiancée—all roundly attest to [his] strength of character, loyalty, and dedication to his community,” Hinds said.
The prosecutor gave this account:
In support of this argument, Gad submitted 12 letters of reference, of which he later acknowledged that six were not authentic. In three of the letters, Gad made changes to the versions he had received from his references before submitting them to the court, without the references’ knowledge or permission. In three others, Gad submitted them on behalf of individuals who had not written any support letter in connection with his sentencing.
Two of the letters were written for reasons having nothing to do with the sentencing and were altered by Gad before they were submitted, and one, purportedly written by his ex-fiancée, was written by Gad in its entirety without the knowledge or permission of the purported author.
The inauthenticity of the letters came to light after Gad’s November 3, 2021, sentencing hearing. At the hearing, Judge Koh described on the record her thoughts regarding a story from a falsified portion of a letter—a letter purportedly written from someone who attended the hearing.
On Jan. 13, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Gad, charging him with three counts of tampering with documents, three counts of tampering, six counts of identity theft and one count of criminal contempt. Gad pleaded guilty to all the charges without a plea agreement.
In addition to the prison term, Davila also ordered Gad to serve thirty-six months of supervised release and imposed a $10,000 fine and a $1,300 special assessment. He is to surrender on or before May 24 to begin serving his prison term.