Shternfeld Gets 5 Years For Fake Hedge Fund Scam

Nov 21 2011 | 12:08pm ET

William Shternfeld was sentenced to five years and three months in prison on Friday, after pleading guilty to conspiring to cheat investors with a fake hedge fund.

Shternfeld and his partner, Benjamin Koifman, were behind the New York-based A. R. Capital Global Fund and Arc Global Fund. Prosecutors said the two men took in an estimated $18 million from over 70 investors, promising to put the money into real estate, oil and gas.

“William Shternfeld and Benjamin Koifman preyed on the elderly to entice them into investing in their so-called fund,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “In some cases, the defendants wiped out the victims’ entire retirement savings.”

Koifman was sentenced on August 12 to five years and three months in prison by U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein who said he would hand down a similar sentence to Shternfeld following a medical examination. Shternfeld’s lawyer had suggested his client, who suffers from oral cancer and wears a mouth prosthesis, might not receive proper care from the Bureau of Prisons, but Stein said a report from the bureau indicated it was able to “address the defendant’s medical condition."

Both Koifman and Shternfeld were ordered to forfeit $7 million.

Prosecutors said much of the money collected by the fraudsters was sent to Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

The case has already resulted in sentences for five other men, including Igor Levin and Yevgeny Shvartsshteyn, who pleaded guilty in March and were sentenced to 87 months in prison.

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