Ex Mayer Brown CIO Gets Jailtime For $US4.8 Million Fraud On Firm

The American Lawyer reports


Former Mayer Brown chief information officer David Tresch was sentenced on Tuesday to 27 months in prison for his role in a $4.8 million billing and kickback scheme to defraud the firm.

Tresch, who in April 2013 admitted that he and Nicholas Demars, the president of a contract employees and technology services firm, ran the eight-year scheme, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang in Chicago to pay $1.1 million in restitution to the firm.

“I’m extraordinarily grateful to an extremely bright, patient and open-minded judge, who gave us the opportunity to present our position in full,” says Tresch’s attorney, Jeffrey Steinback of the Law Offices of Jeffrey B. Steinback, in response to the sentencing.

“It is not by any means an insubstantial sentence,” he says. “However, when I look at the other possibilities that could have emerged, I can only say that I’m grateful.”

After his guilty plea last year, Tresch faced a sentencing guideline range of 57-71 months, according to the plea agreement. Terra Reynolds, an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, prosecuted the case against Tresch.

Mayer Brown did not respond to a request for comment by The Am Law Daily about the case or outcome.

Tresch will likely serve his time in a minimum-security institution, Steinbeck says. He is also permitted to self-surrender in January, giving him time with his wife and 10 children over the holidays—an “extraordinarily meaningful opportunity,” according to Steinback, who adds that Tresch is a “devoutly religious” man.

Tresch is expected to pay his restitution to Mayer Brown in installments. However, he also intends to participate in work programs while he is serving time, according to Steinbeck.

Earlier this month, Tresch’s accomplice Demars was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution and forfeit two homes to the government. Demars was represented by Elliot Samuels, who did not respond to a request for comment.

Demars and Tresch teamed up in 2004, when Tresch, who had been with Mayer Brown for a few months, recommended that the Chicago-based Am Law 100 firm contract employees and technology services through NS Mater, Demars’ company, where Tresch had been previously employed.

Starting in November of that year, Tresch sent work to Demars in exchange for a cut of the company’s profits. When Mayer Brown’s contract ended with NS Mater in 2010, the fraudsters continued to scam Mayer Brown by generating false invoices until March 2011.

Tresch was promoted to chief information officer in July 2011 and served in that role until he was terminated in June 2012, following an internal investigation. He was arrested and charged with fraud by federal prosecutors in August 2012.

Mayer Brown isn’t the only elite law firm to fall victim to its high-ranked staffers in recent years.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s former purchasing specialist John Masakazu Tashiro and two other individuals from a printing services and supplies company scammed the firm out of $1 million in 2009. Tashiro pleaded guilty the following year to money laundering and mail and wire fraud charges.

Two others at Wilson Sonsini were recently accused of insider trading using confidential information about corporate deals that the firm had worked on. Last month, Dmitry Braverman, an information technology employee with the firm, was charged with generating about $297,000 in illegal profits, according to The New York Times. Three years earlier, former Wilson Sonsini lawyer Matthew Kluger was charged with participating in a 17-year insider trading scheme resulting in more than $32 million in illegal profits, landing him in prison for 12 years.

Jeffrey Temple, a former information systems and security manager at Delaware firm Richards, Layton & Finger, was charged with securities fraud by federal prosecutors in 2010 after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of engaging in insider trading. Temple, who was alleged to have committed such acts through his position at the firm, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in March 2011.

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