PLEAD GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD INVESTORS
Jackson, Miss – Mark E. Rodgers, 52, currently of Houston, Texas, and the former Chief Executive Officer and President of Samarion Solutions, Inc., in Ridgeland, MS pled guilty on March 25, 2015 before U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to one count of conspiracy to defraud investors in the sale of securities (18 U.S.C. §371), announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway.
Samer N’Ser, 53, from Ridgeland, MS, the former Chief Technology Officer of Samarion Solutions, Inc., entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III on January 27, 2015 to the same charge
According to the indictment in this case, from approximately 2006 through 2009, Rodgers and N’Ser conspired to intentionally mislead Samarion, Inc. investors in Mississippi, Alabama and elsewhere. Samarion, Inc., formerly known as Valence Broadband, Inc., was a corporation operating out of Madison County, Mississippi. The business plan of the company was to produce a viable monitoring system, commonly referred to as the “Samarion Solution”, for installation in nursing homes and elsewhere that could predict when a patient might fall, prevent abuse and/or neglect by staff, and improve the over-all care of nursing home patients.
Both Rodgers and N’Ser were involved in the offer and sale of stock to investors. They conspired to fraudulently misrepresent to potential investors material facts that would affect their decision to invest, including but not limited to the financial strength of the company and the true functionality and capacity of the product, among other things. The indictment alleges that Rodgers and N’Ser engaged in a course of business which operated as a fraud and deceit upon the purchasers of the stock, using wire communications and the U.S. Mail to further that activity.
The indictment also alleges that Rodgers and N’Ser sold stock to investors representing that the investment funds would be used solely for the business purposes of the company, and instead used some of the money for their own personal benefit, including personal loans to each, an unauthorized bonus for Rodgers, and the purchase of a 2007 Land Rover SUV titled in Rodgers’ name. The indictment further alleges that N’Ser and Rodgers fraudulently used Samarion investor funds to loan approximately $500,000 to C First Class Corporation, a company that was unrelated to Samarion or its business purpose, but for which Rodgers also served as a board member. The indictment alleges that Rodgers fraudulently concealed his personal interest in that company from the Samarion Board of Directors.
FBI SAC Don Alway stated: “This case is an example of the positive results we achieve by working with our state and local partners. We appreciate the effort of everyone involved in successfully investigating and prosecuting this case."
Joseph Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission said, “I want to thank the Office of Greg Davis, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Office of Robert L. Broussard, Madison County, Alabama District Attorney; the Madison County, Alabama Sheriff’s Department and the Alabama Securities Commission staff for working together to ensure this conviction and to see that justice was served for the victims. The successful prosecution demonstrates the outstanding results that are achieved when federal, state and local law enforcement work together.”
The defendants will be sentenced on June 15, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Assistant United States Attorney Carla J. Clark, Chief of the Criminal Division, is prosecuting the case for the government. Agents from the FBI, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Securities Commission are assisting in the case.