The former CEO of a Bay Area medical device company has been convicted by a federal jury after he used company money for personal purchases such as a luxury house and Maserati, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson.
Between Jan. 12 and March 16, 2015, Lawrence J. Gerrans, 49, siphoned more than $2.6 million from Sanovas, a life-sciences company focused on minimally invasive medical imaging devices used to treat lung cancer. He transferred the money to himself from two shell companies under his control and used those funds to make an all-cash purchase of a $2.57 million home.
The jury convicted the former CEO of wire fraud and money laundering Jan. 29 in United States District Court.
Further evidence presented at the two-week trial revealed that Gerrans lied to the company’s board of directors, saying he had used retirement funds to benefit San Rafael, California-based Sanovas, when in fact he had used the money to buy a Maserati, a diamond ring and to pay rent on his personal property. These falsehoods were made to receive reimbursement for the previously liquidated retirement money and in an attempt to receive a “lucrative” compensation plan.
In 2017, Gerrans also used a company credit card for “lavish” personal purchases, including a $44,000 vacation timeshare, $12,500 for high-end carpets and $32,000 in property taxes on his house.
“The defendant siphoned millions of dollars from the medical device company he was entrusted to run, and then tried to cover up that crime,” U.S. Attorney Anderson said in a statement. “Insider schemes like these injure companies, employees and investors, and undermine the public’s trust in our business community.”
Gerrans is scheduled for sentencing on May 20.