Michael Rothenberg Convicted of Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

David Rothenberg's brother, Michael, was just convicted on 21 counts of fraud.

David Rothenberg's brother, Mike Rothenberg, was convicted on 21 counts, including bank fraud, false statements, four counts of money laundering and 15 counts of wire fraud.

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Michael Rothenberg (Brother to David Rothenberg)

Michael Brent Rothenberg, originally from Georgetown, Texas was convicted by a federal jury of wire fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, and making false statements to a bank. The verdict came after a seven-week trial before U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar. Rothenberg's fraudulent activities resulted in around $18.8 million in missing money.

Rothenberg, 39, was found guilty of committing wire fraud in 2015 and 2016 involving investments in two venture capital funds he managed, as well as a $2 million investment in Bend Reality LLC (operating as River Studios). He was also found guilty of money laundering by transferring these proceeds through various bank accounts. Additionally, he was convicted of bank fraud and making false statements in relation to a line of credit from Silicon Valley Bank in late 2015.

Trial evidence revealed that Rothenberg used his venture capital management company, Rothenberg Ventures Management Company, LLC (RVMC), to raise and manage funds between 2012 and 2018, focusing on Silicon Valley startups, especially in virtual reality. He also founded River Studios around 2015 for virtual reality content. Despite claiming River Studios was self-funded, evidence showed Rothenberg misused venture capital funds for its operations and took excess fees from these funds for various unauthorized purposes.

Moreover, Rothenberg defrauded an investor in River Studios in February 2016, misleading them about the use of their $2 million investment, partly to cover misappropriated funds. This act, among others, was recognized as money laundering.

Regarding the Silicon Valley Bank line of credit, evidence showed Rothenberg made false statements to cover a shortfall caused by his misappropriation of funds.

Indicted in August 2020, Rothenberg faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 30 years of imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine for bank fraud and making false statements to a bank, 20 years and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud, and 10 years and a $250,000 fine for money laundering. His sentencing is scheduled for March 1, 2024. The final sentence will be determined based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and relevant federal statutes. Currently, Rothenberg is on pretrial release on an unsecured bond.

According to Texas records, David Rothenberg served as the Registered Agent for Rothenberg Investments MG, Inc., an entity in which Michael Rothenberg served as Director. We have not found any other connections but we'll keep this website updated as we proceed through discovery.

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