NY investment bank’s ex-executive charged in $95 million fraud
An Ivy League-educated former executive at a New York investment bank has been arrested on charges he tried to defraud investors of more than $95 million as he led what a prosecutor called a "shameful charade" to cover his tracks.
Prosecutors said Andrew Caspersen, 39, only got away with $25 million. He was charged in Manhattan federal court with securities and wire fraud after his Saturday arrest. He's accused of scamming clients of PJT Partners Inc. into investing millions of dollars in sham private equity investments from July through March. After an initial court appearance, he was released on $5 million bail.
Dan Levy, a lawyer for Caspersen, declined comment outside court. Caspersen has homes in New York City and suburban Bronxville, New York. He is the son of Finn M.W. Caspersen, a prominent philanthropist and former chief executive of the financial services firm Beneficial Corp. The elder Caspersen was found dead in 2009 of what authorities said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
PJT Partners released a statement saying it was "stunned and outraged" to discover the fraud while Caspersen was a partner in its Park Hill Group. It said it referred the matter to federal prosecutors after learning facts suggesting improper behavior.
"To advance his $95 million fraud scheme, Caspersen allegedly put on a shameful charade creating fake email addresses, setting up misleading domain names, and inventing fictional financiers," US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press statement.
"When confronted by a suspicious client who had invested $25 million, Caspersen had no good answers." The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges against Caspersen, seeking a return of ill-gotten gains with interest and monetary penalties. It said that after graduating from Princeton University in 1999 and Harvard Law School in 2002, Caspersen was a principal at a private equity firm in London before he became a managing principal in January 2013 at the New York firm.