Albany

MyPayrollHR head sentencing delayed until August; Prosecutors want more time to review victim statements

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ALBANY — The former head of MyPayrollHR, who has already admitted to committing a years-long fraud that caused more than $100 million in losses to banks, financing companies and businesses, has had his sentencing in federal court delayed until August, with the hope that in-person court will be possible by then.

Michael Mann, 50, who formerly lived in the Saratoga County town of Edinburg, was scheduled to be sentenced March 21, but Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn last week granted a prosecution request to postpone sentencing. The sentencing will now take place Aug. 4 in U.S. District Court in Albany.

“The Government needs additional time to review the Victim Impact Statements submitted in connection with this case,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett wrote to the court. “Also, given the subject matter of this case, and the sentencing possibilities, the parties agree that an in-person sentencing would be in the interest of justice.”

Mann last August pleaded guilty to charges that between 2013 and September 2019 he engaged in a fraudulent scheme to deceive banks and finance companies into loaning his payroll processing companies tens of millions of dollars. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of bank fraud, and one count of filing a false tax return.

Mann operated ValueWise Corp., based in Clifton Park, whose assets included MyPayrollHR.com, the payroll processing company that collapsed after one of the banks involved froze Mann’s accounts, leading to the unravelling of the complicated scheme. Many employees of businesses that used the payroll service went unpaid at least briefly, and some had wages they’d already received clawed back by banks.

Since his arrest, Mann has cooperated with prosecutors, helping them understand the elaborate nature of the fraud. He is free on bail.

At the time of his plea, Mann was expected to be sentenced to two years in federal prison on the aggravated identity theft charge. He could still face up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud conspiracy charge, and up to 30 years in prison on the bank fraud charge, based on factors to be determined by the judge.

Mann agreed to pay $101 million in restitution, to forfeit $14.5 million in assets already seized by the government, 30,000 common shares of Pioneer Bancorp already seized by the government, and a 2020 Jeep Gladiator, prosecutors said. But Michael Koenig, the attorney representing Mann, acknowledged Mann doesn’t have $101 million to pay restitution.

The case has also spawned a myriad of civil lawsuits among the banks and other parties that were defrauded, seeking to hold others responsible for the mess.

 

Categories: Business, News, Saratoga County

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