Former CEO convicted of bilking Marin County medtech for over $2.6M

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A federal grand jury has convicted Lawrence J. Gerrans, former CEO and president of San Rafael-based Sanovas Inc., of wire fraud and money laundering.

The verdict came after a two-week trial that showed Gerrans, 49, siphoned more than $2.6 million out of the medical-device company he co-founded and then tried to cover up the crime, according to an announcement Jan. 29 from U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson.

The jury found Gerrans, of San Anselmo, guilty on five counts of wire fraud, one count of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property, three counts of making false statements to a government agency, one count of contempt of court, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of justice.

Calls to Sanovas were answered by voicemail. The company’s website lists Jerry Katzman as CEO, president and chairman of the board of directors.

Evidence in the trial showed Gerrans had used the company’s retirement account funds for personal expenditures, including a Maserati sports car, a diamond ring and rent on his personal residence, but he told the board of directors he had used the funds to benefit Sanovas, the prosecutors said in the news release.

Further evidence showed Gerrans used a Sanovas corporate credit card in 2017 for personal expenses, including a $44,000 vacation timeshare, $12,500 for high-end carpets for his home and $32,000 to pay the property taxes on his personal residence.

Gerrans’ crimes date back to to 2013, according to previous reporting. Sanovas, a life-sciences company that specializes in producing minimally invasive medical imaging devices to treat lung cancer, was founded in 2009.

“Insider schemes like these injure companies, employees and investors, and undermine the public’s trust in our business community,” said U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson. “Our corporate fraud strike force will continue to pursue speedy and certain justice for white collar criminals in the Bay Area and throughout the Northern District of California.”

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 20 before U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen, who oversaw the trial.

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