Hedge Fund Fraudster's Teddy Bears Go Under The Block, Net $1.75M

Oct 14 2010 | 1:26am ET

Ponzi schemer Paul Greenwood has sold his collection of rare teddy bears and stuffed toys for US$1.75 million.

The collection netted £1.1 million at Christie's International in London, near the high end of the £800,000 to £1.2 million presale estimate. It took some 10 hours to sell off the 1,300 Steiff teddies.

Greenwood, who pleaded guilty in July to defrauding investors in his Westridge Capital Management hedge fund and WG Trading Co. of US$545 million, built up his collection over the last 15 years. He housed them in dramatic "collector display cabinetry" atop a spiral staircase in his home, and maintained a spreadsheet to keep track of all of them.

Greenwood pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. According to prosecutors, he and alleged co-conspirator Stephen Walsh set up WG shortly after leaving the New York Islanders hockey team and began skimming hundreds of millions of dollars from investors for their own personal use. In addition to the teddy bear collection, the allegedly ill-gotten gains bought an apartment for Walsh's ex-wife, among other things.

Greenwood faces up to 85 years in prison.

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