When your boss goes down—particularly your James Bond villain style sex crazed, drug loving billionaire boss—it’s always the accountant who gets thrown under the sex dungeon bus.
Orange County Register: The former manager of billionaire Henry Nicholas’ personal fortune has pleaded guilty in federal court to two misdemeanour counts for attempting to conceal bank withdrawals exceeding $10,000, a plea that could send him to jail up to 18 months under sentencing guidelines.
Craig Gunther, an attorney who headed Nicholas’ family office from 2001 to 2007, evaded reporting requirements on up to $200,000 in cash he withdrew from the billionaire’s bank account during the last year of his employment, according to the plea deal filed in federal court in Santa Ana.
The agreement requires Gunther to cooperate with prosecutors, who have charged Nicholas with distributiing illegal drugs and with conspiracy to commit accounting and securities fraud when he headed Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. A trial in Nicholas’ fraud case, which alleges he conspired to misreport $2.2 billion in stock options, is scheduled to begin in April 2009. The trial on the drug charges is scheduled to start six months after the accounting trial ends.
The plea agreement said Nicholas requested increasing amounts of “petty” cash, which Gunther withdrew in increments of less than $10,000 to avoid bank reporting requirements, a crime known as “structuring.” Federal prosecutors said in a court pleading against Nicholas that Gunther’s “large cash withdrawals are consistent with someone purchasing substantial quantities of narcotics.”
…In a statement, Gunther’s attorneys said he “was unaware that structuring had been criminalized, handled all monies in accord with his fiduciary obligations and was motivated by privacy, security and accountability concerns.”
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