- A former bank exec from Silicon Valley faked six out of 12 character reference letters.
- One letter claiming to be from his ex-fiancée called him the “greatest man I will ever know.”
- He had submitted the letters at a sentencing hearing for a prior securities fraud conviction.
A former bank executive convicted of securities fraud faked a handful of character reference letters — including one from his ex-fiancée calling him the “the greatest man I will ever know”— in a failed attempt to get a lighter sentence, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in a press release.
Mounir Gad, 36, the former vice president of Silicon Valley Bank, was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to falsifying six out of 12 letters he submitted at a sentencing hearing in November 2021 for a prior securities fraud conviction.
According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California’s statement released on Monday, Gad’s lawyers argued at the 2021 sentencing hearing that he should be given probation instead of prison time because his “friends and family — including his ex-fiancée — all roundly attest to Mr. Gad’s strength of character, loyalty, and dedication to his community.”
One of the letters he submitted for the case, supposedly written by his ex-fiancée, said Gad had a “sparking [sic] clean reputation over 35 years of being an example for the community,” that he’s “determined to have someone benefit/learn from all his pain,” and that he’s “the greatest man I will ever know,” according to the criminal complaint tied to the case.
However, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in its press release that Gad’s ex-fiancé had not written a letter in support of him. Gad’s ex-fiancée found out about the fake letter shortly after his hearing and ratted him out to his own attorney, according to the press release.
Just a week later, the federal judge held an additional hearing to discuss “the lies that Mr. Gad put in the letter,” according to the press release.
During that hearing, the press release states that Gad told the judge, “I promise you, Your Honor, that was the only one. Every other letter is as it is.”
But a further investigation found that that claim was, again, untrue — Gad had falsified in full or in part six of the 12 letters of reference, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said.
Gad was later charged with additional crimes — including identity theft, tampering with documents, and criminal contempt — and pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him.
Along with spending 15 months in prison, Gad was sentenced to serve 36 months on supervised release and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a $1,300 special assessment fee.
The judge told Gad to report to prison by May 24.