Former Fugitive Hedge Fund Fraudster Gets Almost Five Years

Aug 18 2008 | 6:56am ET

An admitted hedge fund fraudster will spend almost five years in prison for his crimes.

A federal judge in Miami has sentenced Salman Shariff, who was arrested in February after years on the run, to 57 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised relief. Shariff pleaded guilty to swindling investors out of almost $11 million in a hedge fund Ponzi scheme after authorities finally tracked him down in Queens, N.Y.

Shariff admitted he had lied to investors about how the funds were doing, claiming double-digit returns when, in fact, the fund was actually posting losses. The scheme, which used a variety of names, including Vestron Investment Club and Crescent Capital, ran from 1998 to 2001.

According to authorities, much of the money that wasn’t lost went to funding Shariff’s extravagant lifestyle, including a beachfront condo in South Beach, a Ferrari and a yacht. Shariff also bought a modeling agency, as a gift to his girlfriend.

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