Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that STEVEN L. HENNING, a certified public accountant who was a Partner at a Manhattan accounting firm, pled guilty today to participating in two wire fraud schemes. In the first, he falsely claimed to have entered into multimillion-dollar intellectual property deals and defrauded investors out of $2 million. In the second, he falsely claimed to have entered into client engagements and defrauded an employer out of over $270,000.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Steven Henning admitted today that he defrauded investors and then continued committing crime by defrauding an employer who hired him after he left his partnership at a Manhattan accounting firm. Through the frauds, he stole over $2.2 million. He will now have to answer for his actions.”
According to the Information filed today to which HENNING pled guilty, as well as other public information, HENNING, a CPA at a Manhattan accounting firm, established his own firm called OpportunIP, which he allegedly told victims was a company specializing in assisting other entities in taking intellectual property to the market. Henning induced victims to invest in OpportunIP by providing them with false documents showing OpportunIP’s involvement in multi-million dollar transactions that would reap millions of dollars in future profits. Ultimately, the victims learned that the deals did not exist and they were victims of an alleged scheme to defraud them out of millions of dollars.
As further alleged in the information, after leaving the Manhattan accounting firm, HENNING sought employment with a firm in Chicago, Illinois (the “Chicago Firm”). He induced the Chicago firm to hire him and provide him with $240,000 in draw payments based on false and fraudulent statements, including by sending the Chicago Firm fraudulent contracts.
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HENNING, 58, pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing before Judge Cathy Seibel has been scheduled for October 18, 2019.
The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the U. S. Postal Inspection Service and the SEC Office of Inspector General.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Margery B. Feinzig is in charge of the prosecution.