Former Partner Of Manhattan Accounting Firm Sentenced For Two Fraud Schemes
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that STEVEN L. HENNING, a certified public accountant (“CPA”) who was a partner at a Manhattan accounting firm, was sentenced today to 51 months in prison for participating in two wire fraud schemes. In the first, he falsely claimed to have entered into multimillion-dollar intellectual property deals and defrauded investors out of $2 million. In the second, he falsely claimed to have entered into client engagements and defrauded an employer out of over $240,000. HENNING was sentenced by United States District Judge Cathy Seibel.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Over several years, Steven Henning committed brazen frauds, exploiting his stature and career accomplishments to defraud people who trusted and relied on him. Today he has received a significant prison sentence for his crimes.”
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Seibel said that HENNING is a “thief,” he committed “blatant fraud,” and his conduct was “extremely serious.”
According to the allegations in the Information to which HENNING pled guilty, as well as other public information:
HENNING, a CPA at a Manhattan accounting firm, established his own firm called OpportunIP, which he allegedly told victims was a company specializing in assisting other entities in taking intellectual property to the market. HENNING induced victims to invest in OpportunIP by providing them with fraudulent documents showing OpportunIP’s involvement in multimillion-dollar transactions that would reap millions of dollars in future profits. Ultimately, the victims learned that the deals did not exist, the documents were false and forged, and they were victims of an alleged scheme to defraud them out of millions of dollars.
As further alleged in the information, after leaving the Manhattan accounting firm, HENNING sought employment with a firm in Chicago, Illinois (the “Chicago Firm”). He induced the Chicago Firm to hire him and provide him with $240,000 in draw payments based on false and fraudulent statements about business he would bring to the Chicago Firm, including by sending the Chicago Firm fraudulent contracts.
In addition to his prison term, HENNING was ordered to serve three years of supervised release, pay $938,246 in restitution and forfeit $938,246.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the U. S. Postal Inspection Service and the SEC Office of Inspector General.