Petters-Linked Hedge Fund Execs. To Be Sentenced

Jul 12 2010 | 8:48am ET

Two hedge fund executives now know when they will learn their fates for their roles in the Thomas Petters Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who in April sentenced the Minnesota businessman and hedge fund manager to 50 years in prison, set the sentencing dates for six of the seven people who have pleaded guilty in the $3.6 billion fraud. Among them are Lancelot Investment Management founder Gregory Bell and Harold Katz, the firm’s vice president of finance and accounting.

Bell will be sentenced first, on Aug. 20. Katz will face the music on Sept. 28, as the last of the six to be sentenced. Bell could be sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Katz faces up to five years for conspiracy.

According to prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lancelot steered nearly all of the $2 billion it raised to Petters. Bell and Petters are accused of cooking up a series of bogus payments to cover up Petters’ delinquency on more than $130 million in allegedly phony notes sold by Petters to Lancelot, with Katz accused of crafting the bogus documents designed to fool investors and of helping Bell wire money to Petters in a series of so-called “round-trip” transactions.

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