Georgia Hedge Fund Fraudsters Sentenced

Nov 16 2009 | 6:36pm ET

A Georgia hedge fund fraudster will spend five years in prison for ripping off investors to the tune of more than $2 million.

Gary Hutcheson had faced up to 40 years in prison even after cutting a plea deal with prosecutors. His accomplice, Saundra McKinney Pyles, was sentenced to seven months in prison and seven months home confinement as part of the agreement. The two have been ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution.

In August, Hutcheson pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money-laundering, and Pyles to helping him cover up his crimes. Prosecutors say the two defrauded more than four dozen investors, among them members of Macon’s elite, in Hutcheson’s Georgia Ionics Fund of $2.11 million. According to the complaint, Hutcheson stole some two-thirds of the money collected for Georgia Ionics, beginning in May 2006. He allegedly lost most of the $780,000 he actually did invest.

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