Prosecutors Say Nadel Should Spend Decades In Prison

Oct 19 2010 | 1:43am ET

Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to throw the book at hedge fund fraudster Arthur Nadel, seeking what would amount to a life sentence for the Ponzi schemer.

In a sentencing memorandum submitted last week, Reed Brodsky, an assistant U.S. attorney in New York, asked U.S. District Judge John Koeltl to sentence Nadel to between 19½ and 24 years in prison for defrauding investors of $162 million. The request comes after Nadel's lawyers asked the judge to sentence him to just five years—and seeks almost twice as much prison time as Nadel's plea deal calls for, 12 years and 7 months.

"He wreaked havoc and devastation on the peaceful lives of at least 390 people across the country," Brodsky wrote. "He was nothing more than a professional con man."

If Koeltl accedes to the prosecution's harshest demand, Nadel would almost certainly die in prison. The fraudster is 77 years old and his lawyer says he is in failing health.

Nadel pleaded guilty in February to 15 counts of securities, wire and mail fraud. He will be sentenced on Oct. 21.

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