The former CEO of cash-management firm Sentinel Management Group should be convicted of defrauding hedge fund clients, a prosecutor insisted at the closing of Eric Bloom’s trial yesterday.
Bloom is accused of ripping off at least 70 investors, including commodity pools and hedge funds, of more than $500 million at Sentinel, which managed short-term cash portfolios. The firm collapsed in 2007, telling investors that it had to freeze its assets due to market turbulence. In fact, prosecutor Patrick Otlewski said, it actually put client assets up as collateral to lever its own trading account.
“Sentinel was a fraud,” Otlewski said.
Bloom’s lawyer, Terence Campbell, told the Chicago federal jury that their client acted in good faith, and that prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Bloom faces hundreds of years in prison.