Legal Ethics

Lawyer-Turned-Money Manager Pleads Guilty in Alleged $397M Ponzi Scheme

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A disbarred lawyer told a federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday that he was “profoundly sorry” for running a $397 million Ponzi scheme.

Lawyers for 77-yar-old Arthur Nadel, who pleaded guilty on Wednesday, are seeking a sentence of 12 to 16 years in prison, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of about 20 to 24 years. The plea agreement also calls for Nadel to forfeit $162 million, Reuters reports.

“I will carry this burden with me every day for the rest of my life,” Nadel told the court.

Ocala, Fla., retiree David Walters told the Sarasota Herald Tribune that he’s not satisfied with the apology. He had invested $900,000 with Nadel.

“I take that to be the standard expression of all those who have decided to take the easy way and try to line their pockets with the ill-gotten monies of others,” he said of the apology.

Nadel, a graduate of New York University law school, was disbarred in 1982 for taking $50,000 out of an escrow account in a real estate transaction, reportedly to pay off loan sharks. A court-appointed receiver and some defrauded investors have sued Holland & Knight, claiming the law firm prepared documents for Nadel that didn’t disclose the disbarment.

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