Andrew Caspersen, a Westchester resident former Wall Street executive, was sentenced Friday by a federal judge in Manhattan to four years in prison for defrauding investors of more than $38 million and misappropriating approximately $8 million from his former employer.
The sentence was less than the 15 years prosecutors had asked for as U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff accepted the argument of Caspersen's defense that he was impaired by a gambling addiction, saying, “No purpose will be served by letting him rot in prison for years on end," according to the Wall Street Journal .
The 40-year-old Caspersen, who lives in Bronxville, was released on bail Friday and must begin his sentence in January. He had pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud on July 6.
"Using his Wall Street pedigree, Andrew Caspersen deceived and defrauded investors – including his own family and friends and a charity – out of tens of millions of dollars," said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District. "Caspersen duped his unwitting victims through an elaborate scheme involving made-up private equity ventures, fake mail addresses, and fictional financiers. Caspersen has admitted to his crimes and has now been sentenced to time in federal prison.”
Bharara said Caspersen engaged in a Ponzi-like scheme, beginning in November 2014, soliciting investments from including close friends, family members and college classmates, claiming that investors would see a 15-20 percent rate of return. He attempted to defraud more than a dozen investors of nearly $150 million, and investors wired a total of approximately $38.5 million, in approximately 18 payments.
“I lost their money, I abused their friendships, I destroyed my family name, I humiliated my wife (Christina),” Caspersen said before a packed courtroom, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But instead of investing the funds, Caspersen used them for other purposes, including making securities trades in his own brokerage account and making periodic interest payments to earlier investors.
From January 2013 through March 2016, Caspersen was in the secondary advisory group at Park Hill Group . In July 2015, he opened a bank account named "PHG Operating LLC" and instructed a company to wire $8.1 million, as payment for work Park Hill Group had done. Months later, he transferred $8.1 million into a real Park Hill Group account -- money traceable to funds that he'd obtained by defrauding investors.
Caspersen's father, Finn M.W. Caspersen, sold consumer-finance company Beneficial Corp. for $8.6 billion in 1998 after running it for two decades. He committed suicide in 2009 during a battle with liver cancer.
Andrew Caspersen graduated from Princeton in 1999 and Harvard Law School in 2002. Prior to enrolling at Princeton, he attended the Groton School in Massachusetts.