Darren Stumberger, the former portfolio manager and head of Live Well Financial’s bond trading section, is slated to be sentenced in federal court next month for his role in a scheme that artificially inflated the value of the lender’s bonds. The sentencing is currently scheduled to take place on August 30.
In January, Stumberger’s case was reassigned from Judge J. Paul Oetken to Judge Ronnie Abrams in the Southern District Court of New York, the same judge overseeing the case against the former lender’s CEO Michael Hild and who oversaw the sentencing of former Live Well CFO Eric Rohr.
Stumberger, who along with Rohr pleaded guilty and cooperated with federal authorities on the case, was the source of recordings that appeared during the trial of Hild in 2021.
“You will learn that Michael Hild called this a ‘self-generating money machine,’” said then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Estes as the 2021 trial against Hild began, according to the contemporaneous account of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Those were his words. You will hear that on a recorded call. He was using the lenders as an ATM.”
Week one of Hild’s trial was largely focused on the testimony of Stumberger, who bluntly stated why he was present in the courtroom when the government first called him to the stand.
“I was involved in an effort to defraud banks and borrow more than we should have,” Stumberger said at the start of his testimony according to the Times-Dispatch.
During that trial, Stumberger said he had become nervous about what was beginning to transpire at the company, leading him to record the conversations ultimately played for the jury in court.
While Hild’s matter remains ongoing as his legal team continues seeking remedies after his 44-month sentence was handed down earlier this year, Abrams in May sentenced Rohr to time served on all five counts against him, which allows him to avoid prison time.
Rohr will also be under supervised release for three years on each count, with all counts to run concurrently, in line with government recommendations due to his cooperation and assistance.
Like Rohr, Stumberger pleaded guilty and cooperated with federal authorities in the case. He was originally slated to be sentenced several months ago, but prior scheduled sentencing proceedings were delayed and are now slated for next month.
Upon the news of Hild’s arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice immediately specified that Rohr and Stumberger had already pled guilty to the charges against them and had already begun their cooperation with federal authorities.