Wall Street Jailbirds
Financial fraud brings to mind names like Bernie Madoff, Raj Rajaratnam and Allen Stanford, to name a few.
They are now doing time in prison for their respective crimes. Bernie Madoffis serving a 150-year sentence for his $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Rajaratnam,found guilty of insider trading charges, was sentenced to 11 years behind bars. received a 110-year sentence for his $7 billion scam.
However, these notorious cases are far from the only ones involving financial crimes. From money managers who faked their own deaths, to an investment fraud that netted millions, the scams can be just as outrageous as the more infamous cases.
Here we take a look at some of those eye-popping cases. While not every one of these Wall Street jailbirds had offices in downtown Manhattan, they all dealt in the financial world.
Click ahead to see those who have traded in their pinstripes for prison stripes.
Correction: A slide concerning Ross Mandell was removed from this presentation as he has been convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison, but is appealing and is not yet required to report to prison.
By Michelle FoxPosted 20 June 2012
Samuel Israel III
Hedge fund manager Samuel Israel IIInot only bilked investors out of more than $300 million, he then faked his death to avoid going to prison.
Israel pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud, investment adviser fraud and conspiracy after his hedge fund, Bayou Funds, collapsed in 2005. In 2008, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, just before he was to begin serving his sentence, his SUV was found abandoned on a bridge over the Hudson River. The words “suicide is painless” were written on the hood.
Investigators quickly determined Israel was on the lam. He surrendered a month later — and had two more years added to his sentence. He is now doing time at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.
Amr “Anthony” Elgindy
Short-seller Anthony Elgindymade a name for himself by claiming to expose over-hyped companies on his website AnthonyPacific.com — where subscribers paid $600 a month for his tips. But he became notorious when he was arrested for cashing on in confidential FBI information about corporate investigations.
The information was leaked by FBI agent Jeffrey Royer. Elgindy would short the company’s stock and then post some of the information on his website — making money on both subscription fees and the stock’s decline. But he didn’t stop there. Prosecutors say he also extorted several small companies by threatening to break bad news if he wasn’t given stock.
Elgindy and Royer were arrested in 2002. In 2005, Elgindy was convicted of insider trading, racketeering and extortion. He’s now serving out his 11-year sentence at the Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institute in California. Royer was convicted of securities fraud, racketeering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He served six years in prison.
New York attorney Marc Dreierwas living the high life — he owned two beach houses, an Aston Martin and an $18 million yacht — but it was all thanks to a massive scam he perpetrated on hedge funds.
Dreier raised over $700 million by selling fake promissory notes to investors before his masquerade came crashing down with the stock market in 2008. Investors began looking for their money, and eventually investigators discovered the fake notes and the misappropriation of $46 million in client funds. In all, his victims lost $400 million. Dreierpleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. He’s serving 20 years behind bars.
Marcus Schrenkerbilked clients out of $1.5 million and spent it on things like planes, luxury cars and a 10,000-square-foot home. However, he’s best known for faking his death in a 2009 Florida plane crash. During the investigation into his financial crimes, the Indianapolis-area money manager flew a single-engine plane to Florida, made a fake mayday call and then parachuted before the plane crashed.
Schrenker was discovered two days later at a Tallahassee, Fla., campsite. He ultimately pleaded guilty to securities fraud and charges related to the crash. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Alberto Vilarwas once a noted money manager and philanthropist who pledged millions to operas and other causes. However, prosecutors say he not only gave money away, he also stole millions from his clients, including the mother of actress Phoebe Cates.
The federal jury in his 2008 trial heard evidence that Vilar, who owned the financial services company Amerindo Investment with a partner, received a $5 million investment from Lily Cates and used it for his own personal and corporate use.
Prosecutors also accused Vilar of taking clients’ money meant for fixed-rate interest funds and investing it in risky technology stocks. Once the tech bubble burst, Amerindo Investment was unable to repay its investors.
Vilarwas convicted of multiple charges, including securities fraud, and was sentenced to nine years in prison. He is appealinghis conviction.
Lee Farkas was once the chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. The former executive is now serving a 30-year prison term after a jury found him guilty of masterminding a $2.9 billion fraud scheme that led to the collapse of TBW and Colonial Bank in 2009.
According to prosecutors, Farkasand others hid massive losses by transferring funds between Colonial Bank accounts to cover overdrafts and sold mortgages that didn’t exist, were worthless or had already been sold.
Not only was Farkas convicted and sentenced to 30 years, he was also ordered to forfeit more than $38.5 million. Farkas appealed his conviction but a federal appeals court rejected his claim.
CNBC's "American Greed" examines the dark side of the American dream. Some people will do anything for money!
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