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Hedge Fund Scammers Get 5 Years Apiece

MANHATTAN (CN) - Two hedge fund scammers were sentenced Friday to 63 months in federal prison for conspiring to defraud investors of more than $18 million. William Shternfeld and Benjamin Koifman both pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Prosecutors said the men "preyed on the elderly to entice them into investing in their so-called fund. In some cases, the defendants wiped out the victims' entire retirement savings."

Their so-called hedge fund was called the A.R. Capital Global Fund and supposedly invested in real estate, gas, oil and other commodities.

"In reality, there were no such investments and the investor funds were wired to various bank accounts in Eastern Europe," the U.S. Attorney's Office said. "Shternfeld and Koifman were expert cold-callers who solicited the vast majority of the funds from the ARC Global Fund's victims, many of whom were elderly and lost most, if not all, of their retirement savings. The ARC Global Fund received more than $18 million in investments before being shut down in September 2006, and Shternfeld and Koifman received a share of the proceeds."

Shternfeld, 39, and Koifman, 40, both of Marlboro, N.J., were also ordered to forfeit $7 million apiece.

Five other defendants have been convicted and sentence for the ARC Global Fund fraud: Yevgeny Shvartsshteyn and Igor Levin were each sentenced to 87 months; Daniel Ledven got 57 months, Edward Veisman 46 months, and Alan Fishman 37 months. Two more conspirators are fugitives.

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