NYU Yanks Hedge Fund Fraudster’s Name From Hall

Oct 22 2007 | 2:05pm ET

Apparently, it wasn’t so hard after all.

Less than two weeks after saying that the name of convicted hedge fund fraudster Hakan Yalincak remained on a lecture hall due to difficulties in excising it without leaving aesthetically unpleasing marks, NYU found a way.

The school shed the sign on the lecture hall’s wall last week, with a university spokesman saying, “Ultimately, we wished we had made this decision earlier.”

NYU decided “it was more important to remove a name that did not deserve to be there than to ensure the wall be unmarred,” John Beckman told the student newspaper, the Washington Square News. Indeed, there remains a perceptible discoloration on the wall where “Yalincak Family Foundation” used to be; the workers left the words “Lecture Hall,” the new name for the facility on West 4th Street, until a new donor can be found.

Yalincak, who is currently serving a 3½-year sentence for mail and bank fraud, was an NYU student at the time of his arrest. He posed as a Turkish heir to gain access to wealthy circles in Greenwich, Conn., to seek out victims. His mother, Ayferafet, is also doing time for her role in the scheme.

The Yalincaks promised $21 million to NYU, actually giving $1.25 million. Of course, the money wasn’t theirs to give, and NYU returned all but $200,000, which was used to cover expenses already made on the construction of the lecture hall.

Beckman said it will cost thousands of dollars to replace the stained wood panels on the wall.

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