Mass. Hedge Fund Fraudster Pleads Guilty

Apr 5 2011 | 10:09am ET

A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to stealing some $3 million from investors in his hedge fund.

Rather than investing the money raised by his Financial Counselors as he promised, Sean Mansfield allegedly stole much of it to pay for personal expenses—including a $500,000 home in Wilbraham, Mass. The money he did invest, for example, $2 million poured into a Puerto Rican real-estate project, he lost, in that case after the developer defaulted on the loan.

According to prosecutors, Mansfield forged wire transfer papers to custodian Charles Schwab & Co., allowing him to move client capital into his own bank accounts or those controlled by others.

At least week's hearing, Mansfield pleaded guilty to 17 counts of wire fraud, two counts of embezzlement from a pension fund and four counts of money laundering. He faces as much as 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 20.

Until then, Mansfield is free on personal recognizance, provided that he surrenders his passport, continues his medical treatments and stays out of casinos.

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