California man sentenced to federal prison for defrauding Local business out of $10 Million

Defendant Used Stolen Funds to Buy Yacht, Amphibious Plane, luxury Vehicle

 

March 28, 2024

A California man was sentenced in U.S. District Court here today to 51 months in prison for embezzling more than $10.2 million from his employer and violating orders of the Court in a related civil lawsuit against him.

Brinson Caleb Silver, 43, of Culver City, California, used his position as a high-level executive to create a scheme involving shell companies, inflated contracts and a stolen identity.

Silver pleaded guilty in November 2023 to one count each of wire fraud and contempt of court. As part of his sentence, Silver is ordered to pay more than $10.2 million in restitution.

According to court documents, Silver was the Chief Marketing Officer of Root, Inc., an online car insurance company based in Columbus. From November 2021 through November 2022, Silver entered into contracts with four vendors for marketing services. Silver directed the vendors to send a portion of their contract proceeds to bank accounts in the names of businesses that Silver owned and controlled. Those diverted payments totaled more than $10.2 million.

Silver used the millions he embezzled to buy a $1.4 million dollar yacht, a Mercedes-Benz G550 for nearly $165,000, an amphibious plane, luxury watches and other items.

As a result of his fraud scheme, in February 2023, Root sued Silver. As the civil case progressed, Silver violated multiple court orders. For example, he flouted an order entered by the Court in his civil suit that limited him to financial transactions no greater than $5,000. In addition, Silver failed to appear in court for a hearing related to his civil suit and instead spent lavishly while traveling the globe.

His expenditures in February and March 2023 violated the Court's orders and include $20,000 on plastic surgery, nearly $25,000 at Indonesian businesses (including $8,000 at a luxury resort in Bali) and in withdrawals made in Indonesia, and more than $88,000 through PayPal to individuals. Silver also withheld from the Court information about a $1.8 million house he owned in California. Before the civil or criminal cases were filed, Silver also made two phone calls to an "international relocation" company and asked for citizenship within a country that would not extradite him to the United States, and a foreign bank account that the United States could not freeze.

Silver was charged criminally and arrested in June 2023. A grand jury indicted him in October 2023, and, in November 2023, a superseding information was filed to which he pleaded guilty.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; and Cheryl Mimura, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. Assistant United States Attorneys Peter K. Glenn-Applegate and David J. Twombly are representing the United States in this case.

 

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