- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Two former executives of a Mississippi company have been sentenced to prison for a scheme to defraud investors in a product billed as a monitoring system for nursing home patients.

U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III on Friday sentenced Mark Rodgers, 53, of Houston, to 60 months in prison and sentenced Samer N’Ser, 54, of Ridgeland, Miss., to 37 months in prison. The judge also ordered them to pay nearly $15 million in restitution to investors and to forfeit a total of more than $400,000.

Rodgers was president and chief executive officer of Ridgeland-based Samarion Solutions Inc., formerly known as Valence Broadband Inc. N’Ser was the company’s chief technology officer.

U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis’ office said the former executives intentionally misled hundreds of investors about the financial strength of the company and the value of the product it claimed to be developing. The scheme allegedly began in 2006 and continued until late 2009.

Davis’ office says the company’s business plan was to produce a system called the “Samarion Solution” that would be installed in nursing homes and could predict when a patient might fall, prevent patient abuse and improve patient care in other ways.

“Rodgers and N’Ser convinced approximately 300 clients to invest millions of dollars in their company through fraud and deceit,” Davis said in a statement.

Davis’ office said Rodgers and N’Ser used some of investors’ money for their personal benefit, including an unauthorized bonus and a car purchase for Rodgers. Prosecutors also accused them of fraudulently using Samarion investor funds to loan approximately $500,000 to an unrelated company for which Rodgers served as a board member.


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