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Two tales of hedgie fraudsters: One admits guilt, the other incur second indictment

Monday, March 22, 2010
Oplaesque Industry Update - Two men who operated independent Ponzi schemes are facing up to a combined total of 44 years imprisonment for defrauding their clients more than $24m combined, various media reports said. The case of Hamilton Alan Bird, 46, of Colorado Springs is very interesting. In a 2008 case that the Attorney General brought against him for defrauding investors in his XL Capital hedge fund, Bird pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, a class-three felony, and one count of theft, a class-three felony said Examiner.com.

For this, an El Paso County District Court sentenced him in September 2008 to 24 years in prison. He is also facing an additional 12 years behind bars for the new indictment.

But the Colorado Attorney General’s Office was surprised to learn that in the midst of these legal proceedings for his prior fraudulent behavior, Bird allegedly accepted up to $100,000 from investors in El Paso and Weld counties, Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Texas and collected some $690,000, to finance his defense in the XL case.

He was indicted last Tuesday the second time for running this second fraud, reported Tajikistannews.net.

“This case is remarkable not only for its breadth and the number of investors affected, but also because Mr. Bird perpetrated a portion of this fraud while criminal proceedings were pending against him in a securities fraud case brought by the Attorney General’s Office,” Colorado Attorney General John Suthers was quoted as saying.

In Philadelphia, 58-year-old Michael Alexander of Villanova, who posed as hedge fund manager, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering for enticing his clients to trust him with their money, said MSN.com.

According to the Dailyme.com, Alexander could face up to 97 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Savage set sentencing for June 16. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bond and ordered not to travel outside the U.S.

More than $407,000 in cash has been seized from two Alexander trading accounts. As part of the guilty plea, Alexander has also agreed to proceeds from the sale of three properties he owns on North Spring Mill Road in Villanova, including the seven-bedroom, five-bathroom mansion he lives in.

Precy Dumlao

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