Update: Hedgie Faced Jail Time For Trimming Trees

Aug 27 2008 | 12:23pm ET

A San Francisco-based hedge fund manager who faced five days in the clink for illegally trimming trees at a state park adjacent to his vacation home has instead been sentenced to community service.

Last week, a jury found Derek Webb guilty of vandalism, and yesterday the judge ordered Webb to perform 50 hours of community service , according to The Press Democrat. However, the newspaper incorrectly reported that he was sentenced to jail for five days, which he was not.

The tree trimming incident occurred last October. A state parks official caught Webb, chainsaw in hand, hacking away at branches on the south side of Van Damme State Park. Webb owns a vacation home right next door to the park. At the time, Webb said he was trying to help maintain a heavily used trail.

Webb, who in addition to managing money, is also a benefactor for various environmental groups.

Prosecutors said that the ruling sends a message that a "person's deeds as a public benefactor does not exempt him from the rule of law."

However, Webb's attorney, Rod Jones, was surprised by the stiff sentence for a misdemeanor. Jones reportedly asked, "Were they in the same courtroom?"

Webb runs quantitative hedge fund shop Web Capital Management. He is very involved in supporting charities and community causes.

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