Paulson Victimized By New York Fraud Ring

Dec 19 2011 | 1:12pm ET

Having suffered the worst year in its history, it is only fitting that Paulson & Co. would go into the 2011 holiday season with the gift it least needed: more bad news.

The New York-based hedge fund giant is among the victims of an alleged fraud scheme that used stolen financial information to steal more than $2 million, New York City prosecutors said Friday. Among those to have their information, and money, stolen is Paulson.

The huge alleged fraud ring encompassed some 55 people. One of its alleged leaders, Tracey Nelson, was arraigned Friday. According to prosecutors, the former UJA-Federation check processor had copies of contributor checks in a safe at her home.

Nelson and her fellow alleged fraudsters worked with three JPMorgan Chase bank tellers to smooth their scam. Those bankers, who are no longer with Chase, accessed account information and ignored fraudulent transactions, including phone and wire transfers and credit-card applications.

The stolen money and bogus credit cards were then used to buy expensive items, some of which were resold, prosecutors say.

In addition to Paulson, the scam's victims, whom Chase says have been reimbursed, included billionaire Ira Rennert and several charities, including UJA and the Starr Foundation.

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