Prosecutors Say Tech Bad Guy Did It Again

      MANHATTAN (CN) – The former CEO of a tech company was arrested Wednesday, charged with pocketing $657,000 from selling Louis XV antiques that was supposed to go to the SEC to settle a $3.3 million judgment.
     Robert Olins, 58, is former CEO of SpatiaLight, a shuttered tech company that made high-resolution displays for computers and TVs. He was arrested in West Hartford, Conn., and faces up to 75 years in prison if convicted.
     Prosecutors say Olins played a “brazen shell game” to pocket $657,000 from the sale of three Louis XV porcelain vases and a bronze gilt dragon candelabra that he snuck past a court-appointed receiver.
     U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Olins “lied repeatedly, grossly understating what he received from the sale of valuable art and antiquities so that he could pocket money that should have gone to satisfy a court judgment.”
     The Securities and Exchange Commission first sued Olins in 2007 in San Francisco Federal Court, for unlawful sale of unregistered securities and failure to file paperwork.
     A $3.3 million judgment was entered against him in 2011.
     The SEC then went to Manhattan Federal Court to get a receiver to liquidate Olins’ art and antiques. The court banned Olins from selling anything without approval.
     But Olins “devised a scheme” with an unnamed London- and New York-based dealer to hide assets from the receiver, prosecutors say.
     The receiver sought approval to sell the vases to a dealer for $540,000, not knowing that Olins already had sold them to another client for $1.2 million, and pocketed $460,000, authorities say.
     A buyer agreed to buy Olins’ Louis XV gilt bronze dragon candelabra for $235,000 in November 2013, with Olins and the buyer both aware that the antique could fetch much more. The dealer recorded sale of the candelabra to a client for $1.2 million, and Olins got at least $197,000 from the deal, the feds say.
     During contempt proceedings last in September 2014, the California court asked Olins why he should not be held in contempt for failing to pay the judgment.
     “There has been no effort on my part to secret assets or ignore the disgorgement judgment,” Olins asserted in court documents.
     But Olins “sought to conspire and hide assets to profit himself,” said Diego Rodriguez, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Manhattan office. “This type of scheming only ends in handcuffs.”
     Olins is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud.
     If convicted, he faces up to 5 years for conspiracy to obstruct justice, 10 years for obstruction, 30 years for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 30 years for bank fraud.

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