PJT's Caspersen Charged With Fraud in $25M Scheme

Mar 29 2016 | 12:24am ET

Park Hill Group managing director Andrew Caspersen has been arrested and charged with defrauding investors to the tune of $25 million and trying to fraudulently obtain a lot more.

Park Hill Group is a unit of investment bank PJT Partners, which is managed by well-known investor Paul Taubman. Park Hill was previously part of Blackstone until it was spun out last fall. 

Casperson was charged with securities and wire fraud, according to Bloomberg, and faces maximum prison terms of 20 years on each count. He allegedly solicited nearly $25 million from a charitable foundation affiliated with an alternative investment manager and additional capital from one of the fund’s founders, saying he would invest the money in a secured loan to a private equity fund. Instead, the complaint alleges, he lost some $14.5 million trading options in his own account and used other funds to mask unauthorized wire transfers. 

The scheme reportedly included fake financiers, email addresses and misleading domain names. 

PJT, which said it fired Caspersen Monday, was alerted to the alleged fraud a few weeks ago, conducted an internal review with the help of an outside law firm, and alerted authorities. Both it and Blackstone are cooperating with the investigation. 

Casperson was released on a $5 million bond following an appearance before U.S. magistrate judge James Francis in Manhattan Federal Court on Monday. A graduate of both Princeton and Harvard Law School, he joined PJT from secondaries specialist Coller Capital in 2013.

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