No prison time for former Live Well Financial CFO

Rohr C

Eric Rohr worked for Live Well from 2008 to 2018.

Eric Rohr, the former CFO of defunct Chesterfield-based Live Well Financial, will not serve any prison time for his role in a bond pricing scheme that helped topple the once-fast-growing reverse mortgage company.

Rohr was sentenced Thursday in Manhattan to time served, meaning no additional time behind bars, plus three years of supervised release, including one year of home detention.

While Rohr faced up to 17 years in prison, the light punishment from U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams was a result of Rohr’s extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors in the case, including serving as a key witness in the trial against his former boss, Live Well founder and CEO Michael Hild.

Hild and Rohr, along with Live Well’s head bond trader Darren Stumberger, were arrested and charged in 2019 on five counts, including securities fraud, bank fraud and mail fraud, stemming a scheme that falsely inflated the value of the company’s reverse mortgage bonds. It then used those bonds as collateral for millions of dollars in loans, while lying to the banks about how the loan values were calculated.

All three men have remained free on bond since their arrest nearly four years ago.

nyfederalcourt2 525x700 1

The federal courthouse in Manhattan.

Rohr and Stumberger pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government’s investigation. Hild pleaded not guilty and left his fate in the hands of a jury during a three-week trial in 2021. He was convicted on all counts and sentenced earlier this year to 44 months in prison, but remains free on bond while appealing the verdict.

At Rohr’s sentencing on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Hartman emphasized the importance of Rohr’s cooperation in the overall case, particularly at Hild’s trial.

“Trials are often very much about sort of an old chief concept; that the jury has to both be convinced that the government is factually right but also that the conviction is morally right,” Hartman said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “And I think one of the things that Mr. Rohr’s testimony did was it convinced the jury that the conviction was morally right because he testified very powerfully about his own sort of realization that he had done things that were wrong.”

“This is a very difficult crime to detect. It’s a very difficult crime to prove. And so I don’t think we should lose sight of the fact that this is a very serious crime, but I do think Mr. Rohr’s cooperation was pretty exceptional,” Hartman added.

Rohr was represented in his criminal proceedings by attorney Gregory Bruch of Bruch Law Group in Washington, D.C. Bruch, at the hearing, highlighted Rohr’s remorse and acceptance of responsibility after deciding to cooperate with federal investigators.

“You have a lot of defendants who come before you who have been good people who’ve done bad things,” Bruch said to Judge Abrams. “Mr. Rohr is in that category. This is an aberrational episode.”

“He didn’t blame Michael Hild. He didn’t do any of those things that people tend to do. He really did accept responsibility for it,” Bruch added.

Rohr also addressed the court, telling Abrams of his regrets.

“I pled guilty because I, in fact, was guilty and am guilty. During these 44 months (since being charged), my crimes and the process has given me an enhanced understanding of accountability. Accountability is both empowering and liberating,” Rohr said.

“I regret my actions and my crimes. I don’t regret being caught. I regret that I violated legal, ethical, and moral principles that I hold dear. In many ways being caught allowed me to liberate myself from my lack of accountability,” he said.

Abrams said she was swayed, before handing down Rohr’s punishment.

“Most defendants show remorse after being caught, after being charged. One of the things that makes this case different, and I think in Mr. Hartman’s words ‘exceptional,’ is that Mr. Rohr did so before he was caught,” Abrams said.

Abrams also referenced Rohr’s prior testimony that detailed when and why he resigned from Live Well as the scheme was unraveling and the company was running out of money in late 2018.

“He told Hild that he was thinking of leaving, and Hild warned him that they potentially could face criminal charges if the lenders lost money. And around that time Rohr asked Hild to reduce Hild’s compensation in an effort to generate more liquidity for the company to help pay the lenders back. Hild refused, and Rohr did not return to work after that. I think that together with the cooperation that followed says a lot about Mr. Rohr,” Abrams said.

Rohr may also still be on the hook to pay restitution to the victims of the bond fraud, an amount that’s yet to be determined by the judge. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has pegged the restitution amount at $69 million.

“Mr. Rohr is going to have a hefty restitution judgment,” Hartman said. “The financial consequences of what happened here will be very significant.”

Stumberger had been scheduled to be sentenced Thursday a few hours after Rohr, but the hearing was not held as planned. No new date had been entered into the court record as of Thursday afternoon.

Hild, meanwhile, continues his appeal process in the federal court of appeals. He is appealing both the conviction and sentence and is arguing that Abrams erred in denying his request for a new trial last year. That request and his appeal are based on his trial attorney being wrongfully ineffective in representing Hild.

Hild’s restitution amount also is still being determined between his camp, the prosecution and the judge.

Rohr C

Eric Rohr worked for Live Well from 2008 to 2018.

Eric Rohr, the former CFO of defunct Chesterfield-based Live Well Financial, will not serve any prison time for his role in a bond pricing scheme that helped topple the once-fast-growing reverse mortgage company.

Rohr was sentenced Thursday in Manhattan to time served, meaning no additional time behind bars, plus three years of supervised release, including one year of home detention.

While Rohr faced up to 17 years in prison, the light punishment from U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams was a result of Rohr’s extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors in the case, including serving as a key witness in the trial against his former boss, Live Well founder and CEO Michael Hild.

Hild and Rohr, along with Live Well’s head bond trader Darren Stumberger, were arrested and charged in 2019 on five counts, including securities fraud, bank fraud and mail fraud, stemming a scheme that falsely inflated the value of the company’s reverse mortgage bonds. It then used those bonds as collateral for millions of dollars in loans, while lying to the banks about how the loan values were calculated.

All three men have remained free on bond since their arrest nearly four years ago.

nyfederalcourt2 525x700 1

The federal courthouse in Manhattan.

Rohr and Stumberger pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government’s investigation. Hild pleaded not guilty and left his fate in the hands of a jury during a three-week trial in 2021. He was convicted on all counts and sentenced earlier this year to 44 months in prison, but remains free on bond while appealing the verdict.

At Rohr’s sentencing on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Hartman emphasized the importance of Rohr’s cooperation in the overall case, particularly at Hild’s trial.

“Trials are often very much about sort of an old chief concept; that the jury has to both be convinced that the government is factually right but also that the conviction is morally right,” Hartman said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “And I think one of the things that Mr. Rohr’s testimony did was it convinced the jury that the conviction was morally right because he testified very powerfully about his own sort of realization that he had done things that were wrong.”

“This is a very difficult crime to detect. It’s a very difficult crime to prove. And so I don’t think we should lose sight of the fact that this is a very serious crime, but I do think Mr. Rohr’s cooperation was pretty exceptional,” Hartman added.

Rohr was represented in his criminal proceedings by attorney Gregory Bruch of Bruch Law Group in Washington, D.C. Bruch, at the hearing, highlighted Rohr’s remorse and acceptance of responsibility after deciding to cooperate with federal investigators.

“You have a lot of defendants who come before you who have been good people who’ve done bad things,” Bruch said to Judge Abrams. “Mr. Rohr is in that category. This is an aberrational episode.”

“He didn’t blame Michael Hild. He didn’t do any of those things that people tend to do. He really did accept responsibility for it,” Bruch added.

Rohr also addressed the court, telling Abrams of his regrets.

“I pled guilty because I, in fact, was guilty and am guilty. During these 44 months (since being charged), my crimes and the process has given me an enhanced understanding of accountability. Accountability is both empowering and liberating,” Rohr said.

“I regret my actions and my crimes. I don’t regret being caught. I regret that I violated legal, ethical, and moral principles that I hold dear. In many ways being caught allowed me to liberate myself from my lack of accountability,” he said.

Abrams said she was swayed, before handing down Rohr’s punishment.

“Most defendants show remorse after being caught, after being charged. One of the things that makes this case different, and I think in Mr. Hartman’s words ‘exceptional,’ is that Mr. Rohr did so before he was caught,” Abrams said.

Abrams also referenced Rohr’s prior testimony that detailed when and why he resigned from Live Well as the scheme was unraveling and the company was running out of money in late 2018.

“He told Hild that he was thinking of leaving, and Hild warned him that they potentially could face criminal charges if the lenders lost money. And around that time Rohr asked Hild to reduce Hild’s compensation in an effort to generate more liquidity for the company to help pay the lenders back. Hild refused, and Rohr did not return to work after that. I think that together with the cooperation that followed says a lot about Mr. Rohr,” Abrams said.

Rohr may also still be on the hook to pay restitution to the victims of the bond fraud, an amount that’s yet to be determined by the judge. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has pegged the restitution amount at $69 million.

“Mr. Rohr is going to have a hefty restitution judgment,” Hartman said. “The financial consequences of what happened here will be very significant.”

Stumberger had been scheduled to be sentenced Thursday a few hours after Rohr, but the hearing was not held as planned. No new date had been entered into the court record as of Thursday afternoon.

Hild, meanwhile, continues his appeal process in the federal court of appeals. He is appealing both the conviction and sentence and is arguing that Abrams erred in denying his request for a new trial last year. That request and his appeal are based on his trial attorney being wrongfully ineffective in representing Hild.

Hild’s restitution amount also is still being determined between his camp, the prosecution and the judge.

Your subscription has expired. Renew now by choosing a subscription below!

For more informaiton, head over to your profile.

Profile


SUBSCRIBE NOW

 — 

 — 

 — 

TERMS OF SERVICE:

ALL MEMBERSHIPS RENEW AUTOMATICALLY. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL AT THE RATE IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME UNLESS YOU CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP BY LOGGING IN OR BY CONTACTING [email protected].

ALL CHARGES FOR MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS ARE NONREFUNDABLE.

EACH MEMBERSHIP WILL ONLY FUNCTION ON UP TO 3 MACHINES. ACCOUNTS ABUSING THAT LIMIT WILL BE DISCONTINUED.

FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP PLEASE EMAIL [email protected]




Return to Homepage

POSTED IN Law

Editor's Picks

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

8 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
George MacGuffin
George MacGuffin
1 year ago

And this is white privilege

kay christensen
kay christensen
1 year ago

Will you say the same when Hild is sentenced to do time in prison?

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 year ago

No, because ideologues don’t think.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 year ago

Please. They are letting violent criminals out in NYC who are not “White” — many of whom are going on to assault rape and even kill people after they are released after committing armed robbery.

Read the article — the guy has no record and furthermore has done a lot of useful work — and then allowed himself to get pulled into something he should’ve said “go ahead, but I’m out.” to.

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Lol, is that an excuse? Pathetic

Steven Cohen
Steven Cohen
1 year ago

Yes, his cooperation should have granted him some leniency but to give him no jail time for a scheme of this magnitude just shows that our judicial system is unbalanced when it comes to sentencing criminals for their crimes white-collar or otherwise. There are other individuals here in Richmond that are serving jail for their misjudgments on crimes of far less magnitude and they have contributed just as much if not more in our local community.

CM Reynolds
CM Reynolds
1 year ago

No jail time?! This trial has become a SNL skit at this point. You could walk into a 7-11 and steal a pack of gum and get a harsher sentence than these clowns. I’d like to think the restitution will be high enough to force them to eat beans and ramen for the rest of their lives but something tells me that’s not going to happen either.

Steve Watson
Steve Watson
10 months ago

It is a travesty of our judicial system that these corporate criminals got off with such light sentences. How much damage was done by corporate criminals during the Great Recessions and how many of them went to prison? It’s revolting. These three deserved at least ten years (Hild more) plus restitution, but as usual they got only a slap on the wrist. I knew Rohr growing up and it doesn’t surprise me at all that he did this. He always had an unhealthy obsession with wealthy celebrities and it seemed like he tried his best to emulate them. This is… Read more »