Bayou Group Founder Gets Four Years

Jan 22 2008 | 12:43pm ET

Bayou Group co-founder James Marquez has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for his role in the hedge fund fraud.

Marquez, who pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of more than $10 million in December 2006, received a 51-month sentence from U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in New York today.

He admitted that Stamford, Conn.-based Bayou, which collapsed in 2005, hid consistent losses from investors from 1996 until 2001.

McMahon rejected a plea for leniency based on Marquez's bipolar disorder.

"He led for four years a secret life of criminal deceit," McMahon said. "I will not excuse the defendant's behavior as aberrant."

Marquez, who told the court he was "genuinely sorry," was also ordered to pay $6.2 million in restitution.

His co-conspirators, co-founder Samuel Israel and CFO Daniel Marino, pleaded guilty to swindling investors to the tune of as much as $450 million soon after Bayou collapsed, and cooperated with investigators. Marino, who faces as much as 50 years in prison, will be sentenced next week; Israel, who could earn up to 30 years in the clink, faces a judge next month.

McMahon offered a preview of those hearings, saying that Israel and Marino would be held accountable for their roles in the "massive Ponzi scheme" which she called "as reprehensible as any in the storied history of securities fraud."

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