Initially Charged with Perjury; Defendant Was Later Arrested with Egyptian Passport and $20,000; While in Jail, Defendant Attempted to Intimidate Witnesses and Solicited the Arson of Witness’ Car
SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Amr Mohsen, a former chairman and CEO of a high-tech company, Aptix Corporation, was sentenced to 204-month term of imprisonment today, to be followed by a 5-year term of supervised release. Defendant Mohsen was initially charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, among other charges. Three days before his trial Mohsen was arrested with an Egyptian passport and $20,000 in cash. While in custody, Mohsen attempted to intimidate witnesses in his trial, including soliciting the arson of a witness’ car, according to evidence at trial.
Mohsen, 59 of Los Gatos, California, was convicted by a jury on March 15, 2006, of 17 counts — including charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, perjury, subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, contempt, attempted intimidation of witnesses, and solicitation of the arson of a government witness’s car — after a two-phase trial. Mohsen was acquitted of the last count in the indictment: solicitation to commit murder of a federal judge.
U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated, “The Court’s sentence sends a strong signal that those who would seek to subvert the rule of law in the civil and criminal justice system will be held accountable for their actions.”
The federal case involving Amr Mohsen began when he committed perjury as a witness in a civil patent matter, Aptix Corporation et al. v. QuickTurn Design Systems, Inc. Amr Mohsen was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Aptix, the plaintiff in that case. That case was being heard by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup in federal court in San Francisco. During the civil case, Amr Mohsen falsely testified about an engineering notebook that would have given him exclusive rights to a patent because he claimed to have invented the technology in question involving “field programmable” circuit boards. As part of his sentence, Amr Mohsen was ordered to pay restitution to Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (formerly QuickTurn Design Systems, Inc.)
Amr Mohsen and his brother, Aly Mohsen, 54 of Springfield, Missouri, were first indicted on March 25, 2003, for conspiracy, perjury, and obstruction of justice for testimony given in that civil trial. Amr Mohsen was also indicted for subornation of perjury and for related mail fraud offenses. That criminal case was also pending before Judge Alsup and scheduled to go to trial in late March 2004.
Amr Mohsen was arrested three days before he was supposed to go to trial in that case. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of a newly issued Egyptian passport in violation of his bail agreement, as well as $20,000 cash. According to evidence at trial, Amr Mohsen had been overheard by FBI agents making flight reservations for the Cayman Islands. On April 20, 2004, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Amr Mohsen adding an additional count for contempt of court in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 401(3). This count was filed after Amr Mohsen was arrested.
After Amr Mohsen was arrested for contempt, he was ordered detained and placed in custody in an Alameda County detention facility (Santa Rita jail) pending trial.
Evidence at trial showed that while in custody in the Santa Rita jail, Amr Mohsen contracted with a fellow detainee to intimidate witnesses in his trial. With the FBI’s assistance, that detainee became an informant for the FBI and recorded conversations with Amr Mohsen. In those conversations, Amr Mohsen solicited the informant’s assistance in making intimidating phone calls to witnesses in his case and solicited the arson of a witness’ car. Mohsen attempted to intimidate trial witnesses with threatening phone calls warning them not to show up for trial or they will “come up missing.” Amr Mohsen’s criminal activity from Santa Rita jail culminated with Amr Mohsen’s indictment on the charge of solicitation of the murder of Judge Alsup during the weekend of June 12–13, 2004, a charge for which he was found not guilty.
The second defendant, Aly Mohsen, is a medical doctor who owns shares of Aptix. He was charged with conspiracy, perjury, and obstruction of justice based on his participation in the creation of the fabricated engineering notebook and false statements that he made about the notebook as a witness in an evidentiary hearing before Judge Alsup and in a pretrial discovery deposition. On January 24, 2006, Aly Mohsen pleaded guilty to all of the counts against him. He was sentenced by The Honorable William B. Shubb to serve 12 months imprisonment on December 8, 2006.
The sentence was handed down by The Honorable William B. Shubb of the Eastern District of California, who was assigned this case by the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit following the recusal of the bench of the Northern District of California.
The prosecution is the result of a two-year investigation by agents of the FBI. Robin Harris and Kyle Waldinger are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.plhttps://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/.
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]