SAN DIEGO – Mintz has secured a favorable outcome – the final piece in what was scheduled as a lengthy trial – for client Mark Manoogian, who was embroiled in a federal wire fraud and electronic mail fraud conspiracy prosecution brought in the Southern District of California by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego and the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. Thanks to the unwavering efforts by Mintz Member Randy K Jones, Mr. Manoogian will avoid jail time, and will instead pay a fine and commit to community service. The sentence was handed down this morning by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.
At the heart of the matter, Mr. Manoogian, a former manager of a global digital advertising firm, was one of four defendants charged in a ten-count federal indictment brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of California. The charges included conspiracy, wire fraud, and electronic mail fraud. The electronic mail fraud charge was the first-ever case indicted and prosecuted under the CAN-SPAM Act.
The indictment followed a nearly nine-year investigation by the FBI, DOJ, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. The indictment alleged that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain and use blocks of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that were registered to others claiming they had been authorized by the registrants to use the net blocks in order to send commercial email on behalf of the company. The government alleged that the defendants knowingly purchased stolen IP addresses, fabricated letters of authorization (LOA) giving them the authority to use the IP addresses, and then presented these fraudulent LOAs to internet hosting companies in order to facilitate the sending of large volumes of commercial marketing emails.
Mintz’s trial team, led by Mr. Jones secured a landmark victory for Mr. Manoogian in June after the U.S. Attorney’s Office allowed him to plead guilty to a one-count, no-jail misdemeanor charge with a modest fine. This remarkable resolution was a far cry from the ten-count felony indictment and the potential exposure of multiple years in federal prison that Mr. Manoogian faced. This outcome boiled down to Mr. Jones’ tremendous litigation and trial advocacy skills, and the relentless efforts of the entire Mintz trial team. The Mintz team also included Associates Daniel Goodrich and Ryan Dougherty, and Paralegal Joyce Hill.
“The reality is that our client, Mr. Manoogian, should have never been targeted by the government and faced such serious allegations. This whole case was much ado about nothing, never mind the drain that it had not only on taxpayers’ money but also on government resources. This was a victimless crime,” said Mr. Jones. “We have worked tirelessly to fight for Mr. Manoogian at every twist and turn through this entire trial, and we are beyond elated with the result that we have secured for him. Mr. Manoogian can now go on with his life without this trial hanging over him.”
Mintz’s national white collar practice is widely recognized as being a pre-eminent firm known for developing aggressive and creative strategies to resolve crises, inside and outside the courtroom and in the public relations sphere on behalf of complex companies, high profile individuals and ranking government officials. Our attorneys, many of whom served in government agencies such as the DOJ, the SEC, US Attorneys’ Offices, and Offices of State Attorneys General, are skilled at predicting issues before they arise, mitigating cases before they go too far down the path towards litigation and ultimately, providing a deep understanding of the legal nuances and strategies of the multiple parties involved in various cases.