Former Live Well execs to be sentenced after cooperation in Hild trial

Michael Hild’s federal criminal trial for charges of securities fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud is underway. (BizSense file)

As the criminal trial of former Live Well Financial CEO Michael Hild gets going this week, two of his former lieutenants are still waiting to learn their fate.

But first they are expected to take the stand against their former boss.

Former Live Well CFO Eric Rohr and former executive vice president Darren Stumberger are set to be sentenced this summer for their roles in the alleged bond pricing scheme that brought down the Chesterfield-based mortgage company.

Both Rohr and Stumberger were charged along with Hild nearly two years ago with both criminal and civil fraud charges.

Unlike Hild, who pleaded not guilty and is making his case to a jury beginning this week, Rohr and Stumberger were not arrested and have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with federal authorities in the case against Hild.

Both are expected to testify in the trial, leading to a delay in their sentencing dates, which had been set for last year. Court filings show those dates were pushed back in light of their ongoing cooperation with the government. That cooperation won’t be complete until at least at the conclusion of their participation in the Hild trial.

Stumberger is now set to be sentenced June 18. Rohr’s sentencing is set for Aug. 26.

Rohr was Live Well’s CFO from 2008 before leaving in December 2018. Stumberger worked at the company’s bond trading desk in New York from 2014 through March of this year.

They, along with Hild, were hit in 2019 with criminal charges of securities fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud, as well as civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission, in what authorities called a “brazen fraud.”

The charges allege, according to government documents, that Live Well, under the direction of Hild, fraudulently inflated the value of its portfolio of complex reverse-mortgage bonds.

The scheme collapsed and led to Live Well shutting down suddenly, laying off its entire workforce and leaving lenders holding the bag for tens of millions of dollars in debt. Those lenders then forced the company into bankruptcy, which continues to play out in Delaware.

Xavier Donaldson, an attorney in New York representing Stumberger, declined to comment when reached via email Tuesday. The most recent attorney listed for Rohr did not respond to a request for comment.

Hild, meanwhile, began his trial proceedings in a Manhattan federal courtroom on Tuesday, with the first day devoted almost entirely to final jury selection.

The trial is expected to last several weeks and will begin each day at 10 a.m. before Judge Ronnie Abrams. An audio broadcast of the trial is available to the general public at (888) 363-4749 and with access code 1015508#.

There was no audio of Tuesday’s proceedings because of the focus on jury selection.

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