One Indian-born tech entrepreneur was convicted of fraud and another was arrested in a separate case, according to the Justice Department.
Manish Lahwani, co-founder of Headspin, was arrested Tuesday and charged with securities fraud, San Francisco’s acting federal attorney Stephanie Hinds said Wednesday.
Prosecutors argued that he exaggerated the company’s earnings when it sought investment in a startup while serving as CEO.
As a result, the company’s valuation jumped to $ 1.1 billion, but fell to $ 300 million when an overstatement in revenue was discovered, prosecutors said in a complaint.
Before the discrepancy was discovered, investors had already invested in the company, according to prosecutors.
On its website, Headspin bills itself as “the world’s first Digital Experience AI (artificial intelligence) platform.”
It says the company offers “a global platform for testing, performance monitoring and QoE (quality of experience) management to help organizations deliver optimal digital experiences across mobile and web delivery channels.”
Mukund Mohan, who admitted on Twitter that “I am (probably) the dumbest person in the world,” was sentenced to two years in prison by a federal judge for fraudulently obtaining $ 1.8 million in government aid to help companies hit by the coronavirus. 19 crisis, the department said on Tuesday.
In March, he admitted fraud before a federal judge.
He was accused of filing false documents claiming that a company called Mahenjo Inc employs dozens of employees to whom he was paid millions in wages and taxes, while the company had no employees or business activity.
He also claimed to have other companies and applied for eight federal loans for coronavirus relief totaling $ 5.5 million, but only five were approved and he raised only $ 1.8 million.
According to his LinkedIn bio, he has held senior positions at Microsoft and Amazon, but left those companies several years ago.
On his website, he described himself as an “investment literacy coach,” and his Twitter feed provided a steady stream of business news until Tuesday evening.