The CEO of Wisconsin pharmaceutical company Neurendo Pharma LLC has been arrested and arraigned in Illinois federal court on one count of wire fraud. Neurendo Pharma CEO, Robert Tomlinson, allegedly stole at least $1.5 million dollars of investor money to pay personal bills and support his family’s lavish lifestyle.
Neurendo Pharma CEO Stole Investor Money Under False Pretense
The complaint alleges that between March 2016 and November 2017, Tomlinson scammed money from investors through false representations about an experimental Type 2 diabetes medication known as GNTI, produced by his company Neurendo Pharma.
The complaint alleges that Tomlinson lied to investors, telling them their money would be used for Neurendo’s operational expenses, as well as marketing costs for the experimental drug. He told investors they’d see a profit only upon purchase of the company’s drug rights.
Instead of using the money for Neurendo, Tomlinson allegedly transferred investor funds to obscure bank accounts from which he would write his wife checks to personal bills. It’s alleged that Tomlinson strategically withdrew money from Neurendo accounts in increments that fell just under federal reporting requirements. Nearly all the money was used for personal purposes, including a $20,000 in annual golf and yacht club membership and mortgage payments on his Michigan lake house.
Tomlinson allegedly claimed that he was not paid a salary, blaming Neurendo’s high operating costs. He requested an additional $300,000 investment from an unnamed investor to cover additional expenses. That money also was used for personal expenses.
Tomlinson to Surrender Passport
Tomlinson surrendered his passport as part of his pretrial bond-release conditions, which also require him to appear in court when necessary, to remain within the federal court district, and to avoid contact with his Neurendo Pharma LLC investors.
If convicted, Tomlinson faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 statutory fine or twice the gross gain or loss that resulted from his alleged scheme—whichever is greater.
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