Former Aequitas Senior Executive and CFO Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to Creditor | USAO-OR

PORTLAND, Ore.—A former senior executive and chief financial officer of Aequitas Management, LLC, and several other entities formerly owned by Aequitas, pleaded guilty today to submitting a false statement to an Aequitas creditor to obtain a $4.2 million loan for the now-defunct company.

Nelson Scott Gillis, 69, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to a bank.

According to court documents, Aequitas created and operated investment funds that purchased trade receivables in education, healthcare, transportation and other areas of consumer credit. Aequitas borrowed funds from other financial institutions, including Wells Fargo Bank, NA, to purchase these trade receivables. On or about January 12, 2015, Aequitas entered into a loan agreement with Wells Fargo to establish a $100 million line of credit. Six months later, on or about June 30, 2015, Gillis signed an amended loan agreement with Wells Fargo on behalf of Aequitas

In early January 2016, Aequitas’ general counsel advised Gillis and other executives that the company would soon default on payments due to private note investors, causing an “event of default” on the loan agreement. of Aequitas with Wells Fargo. Despite this notice, on or about January 15, 2016, Gillis signed and, along with others, submitted to Wells Fargo a “notice”, requesting that Wells Fargo advance $4.2 million to Aequitas with a false certification that ‘Aequitas was not faced with a potential event. of default.

On August 11, 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Gillis had been charged in a 34-count indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and a money laundering. Gillis was charged alongside former Aequitas CEO Robert J. Jesenik, 62, of West Linn, Ore., and former Aequitas executives Brian K. Rice, 55, of Portland, and Andrew N. MacRitchie, 56, formerly of Palm Harbor, Florida. Jesenik, Rice and MacRitchie are all on bail pending a five-week jury trial due to begin April 3, 2023.

Gillis faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, an $8.4 million fine and a five-year supervised release. He will be sentenced on June 27, 2023 by U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.

As part of his plea deal, Gillis also agreed to pay government-determined, court-ordered restitution.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, the IRS Criminal Investigation and the US Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration. He is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Christopher Cardani and Siddharth Dadhich, Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Comments are closed.