Monday, 8 February 2016
Last updated 10 min ago
Jun 13 2011 | 12:12pm ET
A Texas hedge fund manager was convicted Friday of defrauding retirees and others of $100 million in a life insurance scam.
The Richmond, Va., jury took less than three hours to find Adley Abdulwahab guilty of all 15 counts, just a day after the Texas man took the stand in his own defense to deny the allegations against him.
Abdulwahab admitted to some "puffery" about his background, including lying about a previous forgery conviction on an application to manage a hedge fund for A&O Resource Management, but rejected the central allegations against him: that he lied to investors and agents about the life settlement contracts his firm sold.
"I'm not like the other individuals who signed plea agreements and continue to lie," Abdulwahab said.
Those assertions apparently fell on deaf ears in the jury room. Abdulwahab now faces up to 255 years in prison.
"We’re very disappointed with the verdict," Abdulwahab's lawyer, Murray Janus, said, adding that no decision has been made about an appeal. "There were 15 counts, and the jury couldn't have had time to even read all of them, but it was Friday afternoon before the weekend."
Prosecutors, unsurprisingly, had a different take.
"Today’s quick verdict found Mr Abdulwahab guilty of a $100 million fraud and stealing the life savings of elderly retirees and hundreds of others who have seen everything they worked years for disappear," Neil MacBridge, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said.