One of the star witnesses in the government’s successful prosecution of Live Well Financial CEO Michael Hild gets to wait an extra six months before finding out the punishment for his role in the bond pricing scheme that took down the Chesterfield-based mortgage company.
Darren Stumberger, former head of Live Well’s bond trading operations, pleaded guilty in the case. Last week, he had his sentencing date postponed from June 18 to Dec. 17.
The postponement was requested by federal prosecutors, who stated in court filings that Stumberger’s cooperation is still needed for the remainder of the case against Hild, who is set to be sentenced on Sept. 10.
A federal jury found Hild guilty on all counts he faced, including securities fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud, following a three week trial in Manhattan in April.
Stumberger was the first witness called by the prosecution in the Hild trial, due in part to recordings he made during his time at Live Well. Those recordings ultimately helped implicate Hild in Live Well’s efforts to fraudulently manipulate prices on the reverse mortgage bonds it was packaging and selling.
Stumberger, along with Hild and former Live Well CFO Eric Rohr were all hit with similar charges two years ago. Only Hild pleaded not guilty, while Stumberger and Rohr chose to plead guilty and cooperate with the government.
Rohr’s sentencing is set for Aug. 26. Court records do not yet indicate whether the government will ask for a similar delay in sentencing for Rohr.
Hild was to initially be sentenced Aug. 20 but had that delayed to Sept. 10 in light of hiring a new attorney. He remains free on bond.
The length of sentence for all three men is ultimately in the hands of their respective judges, although prosecutors and their defense attorneys will each get to argue their preferred length prior to the hearing.