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Case Number: 1:21-cr-00317-DLC
Judge: Denise L. Cote
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney's Office
Defendant's Attorney: Adriana Collado-Hudak, David Kubilium, Guy Lewis
Description: New York, New York criminal defense lawyers represented Defendant charged with multi-year bank and securities fraud scheme that caused the issuance of approximately $133 million in collateralized loans on the basis of forged documents, including subscription agreements from purported limited partners, audit letters attesting to his private equity firm’s finances, and falsified bank account statements.
From at least in or about January 2019 through at least in or about March 2021, Elliott Smerling was the mastermind of a scheme to secure financing for a series of private equity funds (the “Funds”) through fraud and deceit. Smerling solicited and obtained loans totaling approximately $133 million on behalf of the Funds, which were secured by purported capital commitments made by limited partners in the Funds. Smerling obtained the loans on the basis of falsified documents and material misrepresentations, including: (1) a forged audit letter, purportedly prepared by an international network of accounting, audit, tax, and professional services firms, attesting to audited financial statements; (2) forged subscription agreements that falsely represented, among other things, that the investment fund of a private university based in New York, New York had committed $45 million to the Funds, and that the investment management division of a banking and financial services firm headquartered in New York, New York had committed $40 million to the Funds; and (3) falsified bank records showing wire transfers from purported limited partners to the Funds.
In connection with his bank fraud scheme, from at least in or about January 2013 through at least in or about March 2021, SMERLING also solicited investments in his Funds through materially false and misleading statements concerning the Funds’ audited financial statements, limited partners, capital commitments, and holdings.
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In addition to his prison term, Smerling, 52, of Lake Worth, Florida, was sentenced to three years of supervised released. The Court deferred its decision on the amount of restitution.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jilan J. Kamal and Timothy V. Capozzi are in charge of the prosecution.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 97 months in prison.