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Hedge fund manager pleads guilty to Ponzi scheme

Apr 19, 2013

By The Associated Press

PORTLAND — A Portland hedge-fund manager pleaded guilty Tuesday to 17 counts of mail and wire fraud in a Ponzi scheme he orchestrated in Oregon, Washington and other states.

Yusaf Jawed, 44, is scheduled to be sentenced June 21. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors and the defense will recommend 6 1/2 years in prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney Allan Garten said.

Jawed has also agreed to forfeit $6.4 million in ill-gotten gains and make restitution to investors, if possible.

“No one expects the $6.4 million will ever be paid by him,” Michael Esler, an attorney representing defrauded investors, told The Oregonian newspaper last week.

The crimes to which Jawed pleaded guilty dealt with money he took from investors between February 2008 and September 2009. The scheme, however, is believed to have lasted for more than a decade.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a civil lawsuit against Jawed, alleging he falsely boasted of double-digit returns to lure more than 100 people to invest $37 million in hedge funds he managed. He then used money to pay off earlier investors and pay for his personal expenses and travel.

The complaint claims little of the money was invested. Jawed, who previously worked a stockbroker, allegedly created phony assets and sent bogus account statements to investors.

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