$400 Mil Ponzi Schemer Brian Kim, Who Used Investor Money For Lavish Vacations, Faces Prison Time

From The Dartmouth:

Brian Kim ’97, founder and chief investment officer of the Manhattan-based hedge fund Liquid Capital Management, pled guilty on Mar. 16 to all state and federal charges resulting from running a Ponzi scheme that led to the theft of $4 million. Kim is expected to receive a sentence of five to 15 years in prison when he appears before the New York State Supreme Court on Apr. 20, according to Kim’s lawyer, Justin Levine.

Kim was indicted on Feb. 15, 2011 for organizing the scheme, which defrauded at least 45 victims, according to a Mar. 16 press release from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.

In June 2008, Kim also stole $435,000 from the Christadora House, the Manhattan condominium complex where he resided and served as a board member, the press release said. Liquid Capital Management pled guilty as a corporate defendant to 26 felony counts, including grand larceny in the first degree, grand larceny in the second degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree, violation of the General Business Law and falsifying business records in the first degree, according to the press release.

The guilty plea will enable Kim to avoid the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, according to Levine.

“After extensive examination of the various documentary evidence that exists in this case, it was quite clear that had he gone to trial, he would have lost and most likely would have received a greater sentence,” Levine said.

On the eve of the 2009 Christadora House grand larceny trial, Kim used a false passport to leave the country and flee to Hong Kong, where he remained in hiding, Levine said. A bench warrant was issued for Kim’s arrest when he failed to appear in the New York State Supreme Court for trial on Jan. 4, 2011, the press release said.

“When Brian ran away, he filed a false application for a passport saying that his passport was lost, but it had actually been surrendered to the district attorney’s office so that he wouldn’t leave,” Levine said. “He then got a new passport, so he left and went to Hong Kong.”

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