Home San Francisco Press Releases 2012 San Francisco Investment Adviser Charged for Fraud and Money Laundering

San Francisco Investment Adviser Charged for Fraud and Money Laundering

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 03, 2012
  • Northern District of California (415) 436-7200

SAN FRANCISCO—A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Hausmann-Alain Banet (a/k/a Anzoumana Ousmann Gbane, a/k/a Gbane Anzoumana, a/k/a Ousmann Gbane, a/k/a Ousmann Gbane Anzounan Banet, a/k/a Ousmann-Alain Gbane) of San Francisco, on October 2, 2012, with multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, which was under seal until this morning, Banet, 49, the chief executive officer and president of Lion Capital Management LLC in San Francisco, allegedly defrauded a client of approximately $544,000 by falsely claiming that he invested her money in a hedge fund, the Lion Absolute Value Fund L.P. The indictment alleges that Banet never invested the money received from the victim; that he created false account statements that he sent to the victim in which he stated that her investment accounts had sustained training gains, when, in fact, no such gains existed; and that he spent money received from the victim on personal and business expenses unrelated to the victim’s investment. In addition, the indictment alleges that when the victim requested the return of her investment, Banet failed to return the full amount of her investment.

Banet was arrested this morning at his residence in San Francisco. He made his initial appearance this morning in federal court in San Francisco before the Honorable Joseph C. Spero. Today, following a bail hearing, Judge Spero ordered him remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service until October 9, 2012, when a further bail hearing will be held.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud and mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and 1341, respectively, is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of the fraud. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957, is 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of twice the amount of the fraud. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Denise Marie Barton is the Assistant United States Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance Special Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Kang, Allen Williams, and Elizabeth Garcia. The prosecution is the result of an approximately five month-investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Banet must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The United States Attorneys are launching an Investor Fraud Initiative and hosting regional Investor Fraud Summits during the first two weeks of October in Walnut Creek, California; Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; Miami, Florida; Cleveland, Ohio; and Stamford, Connecticut. The Walnut Creek summit will take place on October 9, 2012. The primary goal of the Investor Fraud Initiative is to raise public awareness about investor fraud by identifying the types of schemes and schemers prosecuted by the Justice Department, educating investors on ways to protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud, and encouraging individuals to report suspicious activity. Conference participants include all four U.S. Attorneys in California; U.S. Attorneys from Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska, and Texas; and senior officials from the Department of Justice, SEC, FBI, and other financial fraud enforcement and regulatory agencies.

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