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Hedge Fund Fraud Prodigy Going Away For A While

A judge things 5 years should suffice.
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End of the line, kid.

Having learned at the feet of one of the all-time greats, Raj Rajaratnam, in his early 20s, Owen Li was prepared to succeed well beyond his tender years when he decided to hang out his own shingle as a scam artist back in 2012. And so he did, lying about the performance of his Canarsie Capital—yes, who wouldn’t want to throw money at a firm named for that place at the end of the L train you've never been?—even before he lost all of its money in just three weeks. Well, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet, before whom Li pleaded guilty to ripping off investors to the tune of $56.8 million before he turned 30, thinks the kid needs a bit of a time out, even if he was impressed by the sincerity of his apology.

A New York hedge fund founder who before turning age 30 lost nearly all of the roughly $57 million he oversaw in less than three weeks is expected to be sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud, a federal judge wrote….

Sweet said federal guidelines called for at least a 6-1/2 year prison term, but that Li deserved less because he "owned up" quickly, and cooperated with prosecutors despite knowing criminal charges were likely.

The judge said "this sort of acceptance of responsibility is extraordinary," and expressed hope that his lack of criminal history and "manifest remorse" would allow him to eventually find work, rebuild his life and start repaying his victims.

Canarsie hedge fund exec faces 5 years prison for fraud: U.S. judge [Reuters]


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

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