British Hedge Fund Manager Gets Four Years For Fraud

Mar 9 2009 | 1:48am ET

A British hedge fund manager accused of swindling investors out of £15 million was sentenced to four and half years in prison on Friday.

Marc Duchesne pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud at his trial in London. According to prosecutors, he repeatedly told investors in his Benchmark Asset Management that their money was safe, while in fact using it to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Duchesne spent client money on a collection of luxury cars, including several Ferraris, a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley and a fleet of Hummers. He also bought motorcycles and paid for executive jets. He bought a friend a speedboat, spent £22,000 on cigars, £60,000 on cosmetic dentistry and £1 million on antiques.

“By that conspicuous display of wealth you persuaded others, including investors, you were a highly successful hedge fund manager,” Judge Michael Gledhill told Duchesne. “In fact you were quite simply a common fraudster. You are a good conman, a good fraudster.”

In addition to his time in prison, he’s agreed to repay the millions he stole.

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