STATES CHRONICLE – This week, a former MIT dean and his son have been convicted for fraud.
Gabriel Bitran used to be associate dean at the Sloan School of Business, M.I.T. Due a hedge fund scheme he was involved in with his son, the former professor received a 4 year prison sentence.
Both he and his son pleaded guilty last year to securities fraud and obstruction of justice.
Their actions included the convincing of investors to put $ 500 million into their hedge fund between the years 2005 and 2011. They gained the investors’ confidence by misleading them into believing that the fund had produced returns of between 16 and 23 percent per year.
The fund lost 50% to 70% of the invested money in 2008, but the two men refused to retreat the rest, even at the request of the investors. They did, however, remove $ 12 million of their own money and continued to reward themselves huge sums in purported management fees.
SEC officials discovered the fraud in 2009 when they found out about their suspicious performance claims and demanded that they be backed up by documentation. When the two started making false declarations and producing misleading records, they raised even more eyebrows.
Additionally, recognizing their crime to each other via e-mail sealed the deal for the two. According to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the father recognized his crime to his son and felt remorseful.
His trite behavior and lamentations were two of the motivations for the lawyer’s request of a reduced 2-year sentence for the former dean. He also claimed that his client had not committed any previous offences, that he had a stainless academic record and had demonstrated flawless moral conduct during his years of teaching.
Marco Britan’s (the son) lawyer also requested a 2-year sentence on the grounds that her client is a good man who regrets what he has done and takes full responsibility for it.
The lawyers’ pleas, however, did not seem to soften the judge who decided that the two offenders deserved a lot more for losing $ 140 million of the investors’ money.
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