Berger Will ‘Probably’ Face Austrian Charges

Jul 11 2007 | 11:51am ET

Convicted hedge fund fraudster and former fugitive Michael Berger will “most probably” be indicted in Austria, but the U.S. government may be disputing his Austrian nationality.

Michael Berger (FBI Photo)Michael Berger (FBI Photo)A spokesman for the Vienna prosecutor’s office told Bloomberg News that Berger was being moved to Vienna from a jail in Wels, the Austrian city southwest of Linz were he has been held since his arrest this week. But he added that a time frame for the trial—possible because Austrian lenders were among the victims of his $400 million fraud—was “extremely insecure.”

Berger pleaded guilty to overstating both the performance and asset level of his New York-based Manhattan Investment Fund. More than two-thirds of the $575 million he raised disappeared during the dot-com boom, which Berger bet against from 1996 to 1999. He had faced up to 10 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine in the U.S., but fled the jurisdiction in 2002.

Austria does not usually extradite its citizens, and Austrian police have identified Berger as an Austrian national. But according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he was born in London, England.

LINK: FBI's Berger Page

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