Legal Briefs: News From Around NH

AG warns about fraudulent letter … and more

AG: Fraudulent letter seeks personal data

The attorney general’s office is warning consumers about a scam involving a fraudulent letter purporting to be from its office seeking personal information.

The fake letter claims that the recipient’s identity has been stolen and used for an online purchase. It warns that the person’s financial accounts linked to their Social Security number will be shut down, and it provides a fraudulent email address to contact.

The letter appears to be on official letterhead and contains the signature of Jane Young, who served as deputy attorney general before becoming U.S. attorney for New Hampshire.

Attorney General John Formella issued reminders to Granite Staters that:

  • His office would never send correspondence to anyone that threatens to shut down or seize personal accounts
  • They be wary of any correspondence seeking personal identifying information, including details of financial accounts and Social Security numbers
  • They should always verify contact information provided in correspondence. Never assume that information is legitimate, especially if it requests personal identifying information or payment.

Insurance commissioner to step down

Chris Nicolopoulos

Chris Nicolopoulos

NH Insurance Commissioner Chris Nicolopoulos will not be seeking reappointment after his current term ends, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Nicolopoulos was appointed by Gov. Chris Sununu in 2020. After serving a three-year term, he will return to the private sector.

During his time as commissioner, Nicolopoulos played a role in implementing a voluntary, private market plan that provides benefits to Granite State families without requiring an income tax or a mandatory, automatic payroll deduction.

Nicolopoulos’ resignation will take effect on July 4, and the governor said the search for a new insurance commissioner has begun.

SEC seeks to reduce $22m million fine against LBRY founder

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission appears willing to reduce millions in proposed fines against a Manchester-based tech company that a judge has found violated securities laws.

The NH Union Leader reported that on May 11 the SEC asked a judge to approve a civil penalty of $111,614 against LBRY Inc., which issued its own cryptocurrency and used it to build, a decentralized video-sharing social media site.

The SEC had faulted LBRY for not registering its cryptocurrency as securities and sought $22.15 million in fines against LBRY. As part of the fine reduction, the SEC also wants LBRY to promise to not issue cryptocurrency until it dissolves.

The company was founded in 2016 by Manchester resident and Free State Project leader Jeremy Kauffman. On Monday, Kauffman told the newspaper he is “moderately pleased” the SEC is dropping the $22 million demand.

In November, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro ruled that LBRY violated securities laws. The following month, Kauffman proposed a $50,000 fine and agreed to dissolve LBRY as soon as he is able. He also said he proposed destroying approximately 119.5 million pre-mined LBCs, or LBRY Credits, the cryptocurrency that got him into trouble with the SEC.

Kyle Fisher 1400

Kyle Fisher

In a December filing, Kauffman said LBRY has less than $200,000 in cash. Its largest asset is a $1.6 million loan from Odysee, which Odysee has no ability to pay, he wrote. The company’s liabilities approach $4 million.

Former nonprofit chief charged with embezzling $230k

Kyle Fisher, the former executive director of the Lebanon nonprofit Listen Community Services, has been indicted and charged with stealing nearly a quarter-million dollars from social services organization and using much of the money to gamble, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Hampshire announced.

Fisher, 42, who was placed on leave from Listen in September and resigned in February, embezzled more than $230,000 over a 19-month period in 2021 and 2022 and gambled away “a large amount of the stolen funds” at the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., according to a news release.

Fisher used his access to Listen’s financial system and “wrote unauthorized checks to himself and transferred funds from the charity’s PayPal account to his own personal bank account” and “created fake invoices and receipts and altered the charity’s accounting records” in an effort to cover his tracks, the government alleges.

He faces four counts of wire fraud, according to the news release, and is scheduled to appear in federal court at a later date.

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