Defendant Misappropriated More Than $700,000 From Investments in Pre-IPO Companies
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Mark Lisser pleaded guilty to securities fraud conspiracy for lying to customers about investments in shares of several companies prior to the initial public offering (IPO) of those companies. The proceeding was held before United States Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson.
Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the guilty plea.
“With today’s guilty plea, the defendant admits to personally profiting from the false representations he made to his customers about the nature of their investments in valuable pre-IPO companies,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko. “This Office and its law enforcement partners are committed to preventing dishonest advisors like the defendant from taking advantage of the investing public.” Mr. Lesko thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Regional Office, for their assistance.
Between October 2018 and January 2019, Lisser was a partner in Knightsbridge Private Partners LLC (Knightsbridge), which operated a series of websites and call centers used to solicit investments in purported pre-IPO shares of companies (the Pre-IPO Companies). Employees of Knightsbridge, including Lisser, solicited these investments by falsely telling investors and potential investors that Knightsbridge owned the shares it was selling, that Knightsbridge was on the capitalization table of the pre-IPO Companies, and that Knightsbridge and its employees did not earn any commissions or fees until after the shares were issued to the public and the investors made money. In reality, as Lisser knew, Knightsbridge did not directly own any pre-IPO shares in the Pre-IPO Companies, and was not on the capitalization table of any of the Pre-IPO Companies. Lisser also knew that he and other Knightsbridge employees earned money, including commissions, from the investments at the time they were made. As a result of this scheme, Lisser misappropriated more than $700,000 in investors’ funds to make payments to companies controlled by Knightsbridge employees, pay salaries and sales commissions, pay his personal credit card bill, and make payments on a mortgage.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Mathew S. Miller and David Gopstein are in charge of the prosecution.
MARK ALAN LISSER
Massapequa, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-210 (JMA)