Hedge Fund Fraudsters Leave Mark In NYU Lecture Hall

Oct 9 2007 | 12:02pm ET

When convicted hedge fund fraudsters Hakan Yalincak and his mother, Ayferafet, promised New York University $21 million, NYU gratefully named a lecture hall after them.

It seems NYU failed to consider the possibility that it would have to undo that.

More than a year after the Yalincaks plead guilty to mail and bank fraud, and five months after Hakan was finally shipped to prison to serve his 42-month sentence (after a claimed stroke and drug overdose failed to convince a judge to push back his pokey-reporting date), NYU students still take classes at the Yalincak Family Foundation Lecture Hall. Visitors to NYU’s Greenwich Village campus can take a gander at the fruits of hedge fund fraud etched in a window along West Fourth Street. The name is also bolted onto a wall inside the lecture hall. And there, NYU says, lies the problem.

The university, which returned $1.05 million of the $1.25 million the Yalincaks actually gave, says that it hasn’t figured out how to remove the interior letters without leaving permanent marks on the wall, nor has it determined how to seamlessly remove the Yalincak window, according to the school’s student newspaper, the Washington Square News.

NYU kept $200,000 to offset “costs incurred by this fraudulent gift,” costs which apparently do not include removing or replacing the signs.

Hakan Yalincak, an NYU student at the time of his arrest, posed as a Turkish heir to gain access to the well-heeled circles of Greenwich, Conn., to bilk investors in his hedge fund scam.

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