By Lawrence Delevingne
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The former chief executive officer of a company linked to troubled hedge fund manager Platinum Partners was convicted of criminal tax fraud on Wednesday, New York’s attorney general said in a statement.
Gary Mole, who led Glacial Energy Holdings Inc before it went bankrupt in 2014, pleaded guilty to diverting more than $18.5 million in taxable income from Glacial’s New York unit to a mining business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2006 through 2008.
Mole, a 52-year-old Australian citizen, repaid $335,000 in restitution as a condition of the plea and will likely be forced to leave the country, according to attorney general’s office.
Mole did not immediately respond to a request for comment through his attorney.
“By diverting millions in income, this defendant showed no regard for the integrity of our tax system or for the many New Yorkers who would be left footing the bill,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement describing the “elaborate” scheme.
Platinum – whose top executives, including founder Mark Nordlicht, were arrested in December on charges of running a more than $1 billion investment fraud – started lending money to Glacial around 2010 and later took an ownership stake in the reseller of electricity and natural gas.
When Glacial went bankrupt, Platinum helped spin its assets into a new, similar company, Agera Energy LLC. Briarcliff Manor, New York-based Agera has been an investment of the Beechwood group of reinsurance companies, which have close historic links to Platinum. (See the related Reuters Special Report on Platinum from April 2015 here: http://reut.rs/1TRovwx)
Michael Nordlicht, Agera’s general counsel and Mark Nordlicht’s nephew, said Agera had no connection to Mole and had never met him. Spokesmen for Platinum and Beechwood did not respond to requests for comment. The Platinum executives have pleaded not guilty.
(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Alan Crosby)