Fla. Hedge Fund Manager Gets 10 Years For Ponzi Scheme

Apr 1 2009 | 2:09am ET

A federal judge has sent yet another hedge fund Ponzi schemer up the river.

Manyu Ogale was sentenced to 10 years in prison for defrauding investors of more than $23 million in his Den Haag Capital hedge fund. According to prosecutors, Ogale guaranteed 50% annual returns to investors from an algorithmic foreign exchange trading strategy. Instead, between January 2003 and May 2007, Ogale collected more than $23 million for the so-called “private hedge fund,” sending what authorities call phony monthly statements to clients, while never actually investing a dime.

Instead, Ogale ran a Ponzi scheme and spent much of the money “to create an aura of legitimary for himself,” the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta said. Ogale used investor funds to pay for private jet travel and his Mercedes Benz lease. He also used more than $1 million to pay his American Express bills.

Ogale pleaded guilty to mail fraud in December.

In addition to the hard time, U.S. District Judge Richard Story ordered Ogale, of Jacksonville, Fla., to pay more than $12.7 million in restitution.

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