Second Fraud Trial Set This Week For Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Mike Rothenberg

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Anna Beckley Contributor
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In the wake of last year’s trial concerning bank fraud claims against Venture Capitalist Mike Rothenberg, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar set a second trial this week for Rothenberg, who faces new criminal charges over allegedly gouging investors.

Rothenberg was first indicted in 2020 over charges that he had misappropriated at least $18.8 million through fraudulent schemes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California in United States v. Rothenberg. The jury was unable to reach a ruling in November, and the retrial has yet to be scheduled, Yahoo Finance reports.

Rothenberg now faces accusations that he raised millions of dollars from investors on the presumption he would use it to back startups. Instead, he allegedly pocketed a large sum of this investment capital. (RELATED: SVB Had Close Financial Ties With Al Gore’s Venture Capital Firm)

In terms of his reputation, Rothenberg’s lavish parties apparently served as inspiration for HBO’s tv show “Silicon Valley,” and he has been nicknamed the “party animal” of SV.

As the “party animal” prepares for new proceedings in the fall, the uncertainty over his innocence in his first criminal trial continues to loom over him. Not only this, but Rothenberg seems to have had a number of other run-ins with the law over the last seven years outside of these two fraud trials.

Namely, in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Michael B. Rothenberg the SEC sued him in 2018 over allegedly overcharging investors to finance his own personal projects, a case which has since been settled on the condition that Rothenberg is barred from the brokerage and investment advisory business for five years.

He became embroiled in several other lawsuits, including another charge of fraud by Transcend VR, which also ended in a settlement. Rothenberg was also sued by the former CFO of Rothenberg Ventures Management Co. (RVM) in 2016 over breach of contract and was ultimately ordered to pay him $166 thousand in damages, according to TechCrunch.

Rothenberg’s history of criminal charges leaves his future uncertain as he faces new accusations of fraud. The trial is scheduled for Oct. 2, and the outcome remains to be seen.