A Brooklyn day trader who touted his success at handling a large “investment pool” that generated monthly returns of 20 percent or more pleaded guilty to running a crazed ponzi scheme that cost his clients more than $400,000.
Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch said that the plea deal will cost Hassan Steel 20 years of his life following capitulation on Feb. 16.
“The defendant solicited money with bogus claims of trading performance and lied about what he did with that money. Claiming to represent a diversified investment pool, in reality, he represented only himself and his greed, plundering his customers’ accounts to support his gambling habit and personal expenses. Such conduct undermines the public’s confidence in the nation’s financial markets and will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,” Lynch said in a statement.
According to the indictment, Steel claimed to be a self-employed day trader and solicited investments in an investment pool that he claimed to manage. Steel allegedly told investors that he would invest their money in stocks and commodity futures contracts, and that he had consistently generated monthly returns of more than 20 percent.
But his claims were bogus: investigators learned that he had traded only a small amount of the money he received from investors and used the bulk of the solicited funds to both pay prior investors and to gamble.
As part of the scheme, Steel sent investors e-mails reflecting fraudulent returns and fraudulent trading account balances for the investment pool, federal prosecutors said.
The don’t call him Mad Max for nothing.
The unhinged 24-year-old who pleaded guilty to a bloody killing spree threatened to kill his victims and cursed out the judge — and even asked Kim Kardashian to marry him — during a sentencing in Manhattan last week.
“The only thing I have to say is, Kim Kardashian, will you marry me?” Gelman asked surprised courtroom attendees when he was slapped with an additional 25 years for the crimes he committed on the other side of the bridge. “I’ll make it last more than 72 days.”
But he didn’t stop there. When one of his victim’s, Joe Lozito, addressed Gelman, the Sheepshead Bay resident fired off a heated rebuttal, telling him to “suck my Russian d---.”
Gelman’s tirade was quite similar to the one he made in Brooklyn last month, when Judge Vincent Del Giudice sentenced him to more than 200 years in prison, calling the convicted murderer a “pathologically violent predator” and a “sociopath.”
Gelman was accused of killing four people and wounding several others during his 28-hour rampage across the borough that ultimately ended in Manhattan.
His lawyer, Edward Friedman, said Gelman pleaded guilty because he was anxious to begin his sentence — but argued that his client had a diseased mind even if he wasn’t clinically insane.
“There was, at one time, a different Max Gelman,” Friedman said.
Days before his Brooklyn sentencing, Gelman confessed to killing six other people during a twisted jailhouse interview with our sister publication, the New York Post — including two men he claimed to have run over in Sheepshead Bay when he was 18. Gelman also expressed his desire to murder accused child-killer Levi Aron in prison before Aron was transferred to another facility.
The police are looking into the new confessions, but they may not hold water: police sources say there are no unsolved two-person hit-and-runs in Sheepshead Bay in 2004 or 2005 — when Gelman claimed the killings took place.
©2012 Community News Group
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