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‘Party animal’ venture capitalist who was parodied in HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ faces a retrial for allegedly misappropriating $19 million

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Mike Rothenberg, the venture capitalist once described as Silicon Valley’s “party animal,” faces a new criminal trial after a jury failed to reach a verdict last year on charges that he lied to banks about his wealth to get loans and gouged investors.

Rothenberg is accused of fraudulent conduct and making false statements that federal prosecutors say helped him misappropriate almost $19 million. 

The judge presiding over the case on Friday set a two-month retrial to start Oct. 2 at the same federal court in Oakland, California, where jurors in November couldn’t reach a unanimous consensus on the charges.

Whether prosecutors can win a conviction the second time around will be an early test for Ismail Ramsey, who was sworn in last month as the new US attorney for San Francisco, an office that tackles high-profile crime in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

Hanni M. Fakhoury, a lawyer for Rothenberg, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the retrial.

Rothenberg was known for throwing lavish parties, which served as material for HBO’s show, “Silicon Valley.” In a separate lawsuit, Rothenberg is fighting claims he refused to completely repay a loan of $4.25 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank. The bank’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month after it faced a bank run by depositors and was taken over by regulators.

In 2018, Rothenberg settled allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he overcharged investors to fund personal projects.

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