Hedge fund fraudster Brian Kim, the one-time CNBC contributor who admitted stealing some $6.4 million from his clients and his New York condominium association, will spend as many as 15 years in prison for his crimes.
Most of them, anyway: Kim was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison on Friday, just over a month after he struck a plea deal with prosecutors. In addition to pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme and ripping off his condo, Kim also pleaded guilty to jumping bail—he disappeared in January 2011, a month before he was charged with the Ponzi scheme, and arrested in Hong Kong in October.
Last month, Kim was sentenced to 14 months in prison for passport fraud; he lied to get a new U.S. passport after surrendering his original following his indictment on the condo theft, and used it to flee to Hong Kong. The two prison sentences will run consecutively, meaning that Kim won't be free for at least six years and two months. Prior to his plea deal, he had faced up to 45 years in prison.
New York State Judge Charles Solomon chose not to impose any financial penalties; Kim is already subject to a $12.5 million default judgment in a civil case filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Despite the fact that Kim used some of the money he stole to finance a lavish lifestyle, Kim's lawyer denied that he was "motivated by greed."
"He genuinely wanted to help his investors."