Three Former Financial Services Executives Sentenced to Serve Time in Prison for Roles in Conspiracies Involving Investment Contracts for the Proceeds of Municipal Bonds

WASHINGTON—Three former financial services executives were sentenced today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for their participation in conspiracies related to bidding for contracts for the investment of municipal bond proceeds and other municipal finance contracts, the Department of Justice announced. The three former executives were convicted after a three week trial on May 11, 2012.

Dominick P. Carollo, Steven E. Goldberg, and Peter S. Grimm, all former executives of General Electric Co. (GE) affiliates, were sentenced by District Court Judge Harold Baer, Jr. for their roles in the conspiracies. Carollo was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison and to pay a $50,000 criminal fine. Goldberg was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison and to pay a $90,000 criminal fine. Grimm was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison and to pay a $50,000 criminal fine.

“By manipulating the competitive bidding process, the conspirators cheated cities and towns out of money for important public works projects,” said Scott D. Hammond, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program. “The division and its law enforcement partners remain committed to rooting out such corruption.”

According to evidence presented at trial, while employed at GE affiliates, Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm participated in separate fraud conspiracies with various financial institutions and insurance companies and their representatives from as early as 1999 until 2006. These institutions and companies, or “providers,” offered a type of contract known as an investment agreement to state, county, and local governments and agencies throughout the United States. The public entities were seeking to invest money from a variety of sources, primarily the proceeds of municipal bonds that they had issued to raise money for, among other things, public projects. Goldberg also participated in the conspiracies while employed at Financial Security Assurance Capital Management Services LLC.

At trial, the Department of Justice asserted that Carollo, Goldberg, Grimm, and their co-conspirators corrupted the bidding process for dozens of investment agreements to increase the number and profitability of investment agreements awarded to the provider companies where they were employed. Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm deprived the municipalities of competitive interest rates for the investment of tax-exempt bond proceeds that were to be used by municipalities for various public works projects, such as for building or repairing schools, hospitals, and roads. Evidence at trial established that they cost municipalities around the country millions of dollars.

“Today’s sentencing of Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm for their involvement manipulating a competitive bidding process of public contracts is the final step in a case that demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to investigate and prosecute those who illegally influence the financial markets for their own profit,” said Mary E. Galligan, Acting Assistant Special Agent Charge of the FBI in New York. “The co-conspirators scheme over many years deprived municipalities across the country of competitive interest rates on bonds, a yield that most cities would say they greatly need. The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to enforce the laws that protect our financial markets.”

“The sentences handed down today send a clear message that crime motivated by outright greed will land you in jail,” said Richard Weber, Chief, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “Quite simply, the defendants stole money from taxpayers and conspired to manipulate the competitive bidding system to benefit themselves instead of the towns and cities that needed this money for important public works projects. IRS-Criminal Investigation is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to uncover this kind of corruption and secure justice for American taxpayers.”

Carollo was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and defraud the United States, Goldberg was found guilty on four counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and defraud the United States, and Grimm was found guilty on three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and defraud the United States.

A total of 20 individuals have been charged as a result of the department’s ongoing municipal bonds investigation. Including today’s convictions, a total of 19 individuals have been convicted or pleaded guilty, and one awaits trial. Additionally, one company has pleaded guilty.

The sentences announced today resulted from an ongoing investigation conducted by the Antitrust Division’s New York Office, the FBI, and the IRS-CI. The division is coordinating its investigation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.