SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A Los Gatos man’s plan to avoid prison time backfired, prosecutors said.
Mounir Gad, 36, worked as vice president of Silicon Valley Bank until he was caught committing securities fraud stemming from an insider trading scheme, prosecutors said. Before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh sentenced him for fraud in November of 2021, Gad submitted 12 letters of reference defending his character and asserting he did not deserve prison time.
Judge Koh read the letters and sentenced Gad to two years of probation, a $500 fine, and no prison time. After the fraud sentencing hearing, the court made a troubling discovery — half of the letters submitted on Gad’s behalf were either fake or heavily altered.
Prosecutors said Gad wrote letters about himself and lied that someone else wrote them. The letters described Gad’s “strength of character, loyalty, and dedication to his community. One (letter), purportedly written by his ex-fiancée, was written by Gad in its entirety without the knowledge or permission of the purported author,” prosecutors wrote.
At a second hearing, Judge Koh explained the portions of one letter she found very compelling were “lies that Mr. Gad put in the letter.” Gad told Judge Koh, “I promise you, Your Honor, that was the only one. Every other letter is as it is.”
A subsequent investigation revealed that six letters were inauthentic.
In 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Gad, charging him with three counts of tampering with documents, six counts of identity theft, and one count of criminal contempt. Gad pleaded guilty to all of the charges without a plea agreement.
Gad was re-sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila on Monday to serve 15 months in prison.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Davila ordered Gad to serve 36 months of supervised release and imposed a $10,000 fine. The judge ordered Gad to surrender on or before May 24, 2023 to begin serving his prison term.