Cohn, who previously worked for the SEC, pled guilty to improperly accessing and disclosing confidential information in the fall.
Michael Cohn, former chief compliance officer of GPB Capital Holdings, pled guilty to charges of theft of government property. Cohn was charged in October 2019 with obstruction of justice in relation to an SEC investigation of GPB Capital. The federal government recommended a prison sentence of up to six months for Cohn.
Prosecutors stated that a maximum six-month recommendation is sufficient to punish Cohn for leaking sensitive information to GPB Capital Holdings. The prosecutor indicated that to prevent similar misconduct in the future, Cohn’s punishment must outweigh the benefit he received. Cohn’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 24, 2021, pushed back from its original date of January 11th due to COVID-19 concerns.
Prior to joining GPB Capital, Cohn was employed by the SEC. It was through this employment that the DOJ alleged Cohn retrieved confidential information, including information relating to an investigation into GPB Capital. Cohn allegedly used this information to get a job with GPB Capital, where he was set to earn $400,000 per year, and would likely oversee the very investigation he learned about through his SEC employment.
Prosecutors stated that Cohn’s behavior violated the public trust that citizens place in government employees to maintain ethical standards. By accepting the role at GPB, Cohn placed himself in a position to “unlawfully influence” the firm’s response to the SEC’s investigation, according to the prosecutors in Cohn’s case.
Scott Resnik, who represents Cohn, told Law360 that he would request a probation sentence on behalf of Mr. Cohn.
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