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American Justice: British Hedge-Fund Fraud Edition

The UK is stepping up its game re: sending people to the big house.
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"And you're a very bad person."

Here in the greatest country on earth, we’re used to sending our fraudsters away for decades and decades. Bernie Madoff’s doing 150 years. Tom Petters got 50. Some guy you never heard of who stole $140 million got 40 years. Hell, Ponzi schemes to finance the world’s greatest teddy bear collection will get you 10 years in the pokey here.

Not so in the wellspring of the aforementioned legal system, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, where they’ve gotten a little soft on white-collar crime—until recently, when an unhappy Swede named Magnus Peterson learned he’d be spending an extra 13 years in England for screwing his investors over to the tune of $600 million, the very first hedge fund manager to see the inside of a British prison for financial-crisis era fraud (cue: Preet Bharara laughing derisively). To Americans, a baker’s dozen for such perfidy seems pretty par for the course. To Magnus’ European mind, it is a travesty of justice.

Weavering Capital (UK) Ltd. founder Magnus Peterson will appeal his 13-year jail sentence, according to his lawyer, arguing the former hedge-fund manager didn’t deserve one of the heaviest penalties ever for fraud….

“Rarely, if ever, has there been a longer sentence for a fraud offense,” said Michael Drury, a London-based criminal lawyer at BCL Burton Copeland. “Whether this marks a departure in the English courts to more U.S.-style sentencing remains to be seen but it does appear to send a signal that this type of crime will not be tolerated.”

Weavering Hedge-Fund Founder to Appeal 13-Year Jail Sentence [Bloomberg]


By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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