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Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
April 08, 2015

DA VANCE ANNOUNCES THE SENTENCING OF TWO INDIVIDUALS FOR STEALING FROM INVESTORS IN SEPARATE FINANCIAL SCHEMES

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of two defendants recently convicted in separate financial fraud cases. ARUN GANGULY, 38, was sentenced to 2-to-6 years in state prison after pleading guilty to defrauding investment funds, start-up companies, and high-net-worth individuals by convincing them to hire him based on false pretenses, stolen identities, forged documents, and fictitious emails.

In an unrelated case, JEAN JACQUES CHENIER, 63, was also sentenced today to 3-to-9 years in state prison for an elaborate scheme in which he fraudulently obtained more than $3 million from investors and used the money for his own personal expenses and to pay off other investors. As part of the sentencing, CHENIER signed confessions of judgment totaling approximately $3.8 million that he owes to investors.

“These two individuals deceived and stole from their investors through sophisticated schemes, and as a result, will now spend the next several years in prison,” said District Attorney Vance. “My Office’s Investigation Division is committed to uncovering financial scams and ensuring that those involved are held responsible. I urge anyone who believes that he or she may be the victim of this type of illegal activity to call our Financial Frauds hotline at (212) 335-8900.”

On March 11, 2015, GANGULY pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to one count each of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees, and Identity Theft in the First Degree. According to the defendant’s guilty plea and statements made on the record in court, GANGULY was hired as a financial consultant and investment advisor after making numerous, repeated, and extensive fraudulent representations about his experience. The defendant also falsely purported to have a personal relationship with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, all associated with the founding of Facebook, as well as the Winklevoss’s father, Howard Winklevoss. GANGULY falsely asserted that his family had a multi-million dollar trust he could use to invest and was found to have sent more than 500 emails purporting to be from Narendra, Purnendu Chatterjee, and Howard and Tyler Winklevoss.

On March 24, 2015, CHENIER pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to multiple charges, including Grand Larceny, Money Laundering, Forgery, Scheme to Defraud, and Falsifying Business Records. According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, CHENIER engaged in a systematic course of conduct in which he falsely and fraudulently owned and managed two commodity pool operators and, during the course of this fraudulent activity, stole more $3 million from investors. CHENIER obtained money from investors using false offering memoranda, and used the funds for personal expenses and to pay off other investors.

To conceal these criminal activities, CHENIER provided forged documents, falsified business records, and withheld pertinent information from the investors, regulators, and accountants, including failing to disclose prior criminal convictions in France. He then laundered the proceeds of the fraud to other business and personal accounts that he controlled in the United States and abroad. Once investors began asking to withdraw funds from their accounts, CHENIER fled the United States. He was eventually arrested in Italy before being extradited to face charges.

Assistant District Attorney Beth Potashnick prosecuted the GANGULY case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Brenda Fischer, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, and Executive Assistant Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Former Rackets Investigator Daniel Murphy, Supervising Rackets Investigator Robert Muldoon, and Assistant District Attorney Amyjane Rettew, Appellate Counsel for the Investigation Division, assisted with the investigation. Cybercrime Analyst Meredith Foster also assisted with the case.

Assistant District Attorneys Michael Ohm, Sean Pippen, and Rachel Hochhauser prosecuted the CHENIER case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Polly Greenberg, Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, and Executive Assistant Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Principal Financial Investigator Brian Crowe, Supervising Rackets Investigator Donato Siciliano, and former DANY Investigator Louis Capolupo assisted with the investigation. Investigative Analyst Kellie Desrochers and Paralegal Frank Mace also assisted with the case, along with Cheryl Tulino and Louis Beradocco from the National Futures Association.
 
District Attorney Vance also thanked the Office of International Affairs of the United States Department of Justice for assisting with the extradition.

Defendant Information:

ARUN GANGULY, D.O.B. 3/29/1977
San Jose, CA

Convicted:
•    Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
•    Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
•    Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
•    Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

Sentenced:
•    2-to-6 years in state prison

JEAN JACQUES CHENIER, D.O.B. 5/4/1951
France

Convicted:
•    Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
•    Money Laundering in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
•    Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
•    Forgery in the Second Degree, a class  D felony, 1 count
•    Violation of the Martin Act, a class E felony, 2 counts
•    Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E, 1 count
•    Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

Sentenced:
•    3-to-9 years in state prison