Securities fraud cases are usually the domain of the Northern District, home of the Silicon Valley. But as the Sacramento area tech industry expands, we may see more of these prosecutions here as well:
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. was a rising star in the Sacramento-area tech community – until it got clobbered by an accounting scandal that exposed serious problems with the financial results it was reporting to investors.
Now the Davis biotech company’s troubles have turned into a criminal case.
Marrone Bio’s former chief operating officer was arrested and charged with fraud Wednesday. A federal grand jury in Sacramento accused him of artificially inflating the company’s reported revenues by millions of dollars, placing him at the heart of a scheme that has dogged Marrone Bio for well over a year.
Hector Absi, 47, the former executive, was charged with securities fraud, falsifying corporate records and other crimes, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento. He was arrested at his home in Las Vegas, where he was released after agreeing to surrender his passport and abide by other restrictions following an initial court appearance.