It takes an Indian to nail an Indian.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara (a Punjabi of Indian origin) has gotten Tamil crook Anand Sekaran to plead guilty to a ponzi scheme that defrauded investors.
Anand Sekaran, President and Director of Miami based Wasson Capital Ltd pled guilty Friday in a Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson to engaging in a $2.3 million fraudulent scheme to defraud Wasson’s investors.
Sekaran, 44, who appears to be from Butler, PA, is a Tamil whose parents migrated to the U.S. in the 1960s.
Anand Sekaran misled Wasson investors concerning the fund’s value, distributed funds to investors that were contributed from other investors, and issued fraudulent account and fund performance statements, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Preet Bharara said:
We’ve seen far too many of the classic Ponzi schemes perpetrated by the likes of Anand Sekaran that cheat and rob investors. Like so many defendants before him, Sekaran’s shell game with other people’s money finally caught up with him, and he will now face justice.
Sekaran pled guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of mail fraud.
The securities fraud and mail fraud charge each carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison but in plea deal Sekaran will face 41-months to 51-months in prison.
Sekaran also faces a maximum fine of $5 million.
As part of his plea deal with the prosecutors, Anand Sekaran agreed to pay $2.3 million in restitution and forfeit for the proceeds obtained as a result of the offense.
Anand Sekaran is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Patterson on February 19, 2013.
We hope Sekaran gets thrown into the slammer for a long, long time.
Separately, Sekaran consented to an Securities and Exchange Commission order barring him from the securities industry, including the investment advisory business, and penny stock industry.
The SEC charged Anand Sekaran with misappropriating investor money for personal mortgage and maintenance payments, restaurant and travel expenses, entertainment and event tickets, employee salaries and health insurance, and rent and office expenses.
Details of Anand Sekaran’s Fraud:
Since you schmucks have lots of time to waste, here are excerpts from Preet Bharara’s press statement on the government case against Sekaran:
In 1997, SEKARAN formed Wasson as an asset management firm in New York, New York, that would invest client money primarily in the U.S. options market, and he solicited investors from 1999 through 2010. As a result of both the substantial losses Wasson incurred and several redemption requests, SEKARAN engaged in a scheme to defraud investors, divert investor funds, and perpetrate a “Ponzi” scheme through two methods from 2009 through June 2011.
First, SEKARAN misrepresented to existing and potential investors Wasson’s investment value and past performance, the ways investor funds were being used, and the source of funds distributed to investors who had requested redemptions. Specifically, SEKARAN misrepresented that Wasson was stable and doing well so that he could secure additional contributions. In response to certain investor redemption requests, SEKARAN also used money from other investors to pay off the redeeming investors.
Second, SEKARAN distributed fraudulent statements to investors in order to forestall redemption requests, induce new investors to contribute to Wasson, and induce existing investors to provide additional contributions. For example, SEKARAN caused misleading and fabricated account statements to be sent to several Wasson investors that falsely inflated the value of their investments. He also created and distributed fraudulent performance statements purporting to show that the Wasson fund was performing well, when in fact, it was suffering losses.
In the course of his scheme, SEKARAN misappropriated approximately $500,000 of investor funds. As a result of his conduct, more than 10 investors lost a total of approximately $2 million.