Home Courts Stamford accountant pleads guilty to $2M Westchester fraud

Stamford accountant pleads guilty to $2M Westchester fraud

Stamford accountant Steven L. Henning has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges for defrauding investors in a Westchester firm of $2 million.

Steven Henning fraud

He stipulated to a sentencing guideline of 51 to 63 months in prison, according to a June 24 plea agreement, forfeiture of $938,246 in traceable ill-gotten gains and a fine of at least $250,000.

The prosecution agreed not to pursue any other criminal charges, except for possible tax violations.

Henning, 58, was once a partner in Marks Paneth LLP, a Manhattan accounting firm, where he distinguished himself as a specialist in anti-fraud and forensic services. His former employer was not implicated in the wire fraud schemes.

In 2008, while working for the accounting firm, he formed an intellectual property business that later became known as OpportunIP LLC, with offices in Tarrytown and Purchase.

From 2012 to 2017, he conned two people into investing $2 million in his company. One investor was a former student he taught when he was an assistant professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Henning produced phony licensing and escrow agreements, purportedly from automobile manufacturers, to dupe his prey into investing.

Then from mid-2017 to late 2018, after he left Marks Paneth, he persuaded a Chicago firm to hire him and pay a $240,000 draw, based on fraudulent contracts and other false statements.

He also is embroiled in a federal lawsuit filed last year by Golomb Mercantile Co. of Las Vegas, accusing him of fabricating documents showing an interest in patents by Ford, Mercedes, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen. The case is pending in federal court in  Manhattan.

Henning is scheduled for sentencing in the criminal case Oct. 18 before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.

He is represented by Michael K. Burke of Hodges Walsh & Burke in White Plains. Assistant U.S. Attorney Margery B. Feinzig is handling the prosecution.

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