Lawyer expects prosecutors to offer deal to ex-Park Hill exec Caspersen: Reuters

(Reuters) Andrew Caspersen, an ex-partner at a unit of investment bank PJT Partners Inc accused of orchestrating a $95 million scheme to defraud investors, will likely soon reach a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve the case, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

The criminal case against Caspersen, who was arrested two weeks ago, could be resolved within 60 days, Paul Shechtman, his lawyer, told a judge during a court hearing in Manhattan in a related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit.

“It doesn’t cry out that it’s a triable case,” Shechtman said.

Caspersen, who had worked at PJT Partner’s Park Hill Group since 2013, was charged with securities fraud and wire fraud in a criminal complaint filed last month.

Caspersen, 39, was released on a $5 million bond after his arrest. Prosecutors in a filing on Monday said he is currently “hospitalized in a secure unit” of a Manhattan hospital.

Prosecutors said Caspersen sought $24.6 million from a foundation affiliated with hedge fund Moore Capital Management and $400,000 from one of the fund’s employees, saying he would invest it in a secured loan to a private equity fund.

Instead, Caspersen used the money for personal options trading, losing $14.5 million in the process, authorities said. Other funds went to cover up unauthorized wire transfers at his company, according to the criminal complaint.

The fraud, which involved fake email addresses and a misleading domain name, began last July and continued through last month, when Caspersen sought another $20 million from the foundation and $50 million from a private equity firm, prosecutors said.

Moore Charitable Foundation has said it has worked closely with U.S. authorities in “helping to bring this massive fraud to light.”

During the period at issue, Caspersen worked at Park Hill, which he joined in 2013. The advisory firm was spun off from private equity group Blackstone Group LP in October. It is now part of PJT Partners, founded by veteran dealmaker Paul Taubman.

PJT Partners, which has fired Caspersen, in a regulatory filing on Friday said its internal investigation found a “small number” of victims beyond the Moore foundation, including Caspersen’s relatives and friends, who made $14 million in payments in his schemes.

PJT said Caspersen, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, also replaced $8.9 million in legitimate invoices Park Hill prepared with false ones, allowing funds to be misdirected.

(By Brendan Pierson and Nate Raymond; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Jeffrey Benkoe and Leslie Adler)


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Photo: Andrew Caspersen (R) departs after a hearing at the U.S. Federal Court in New York March 28, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson