An investment advisor pleaded guilty for defrauding investment funds, start-up companies, and high-net-worth individuals by convincing them to hire him based on false pretenses, stolen identities, forged documents and fictitious emails.
He is expected to be sentenced on April 8, 2015.
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Admitted phony Winklevoss ties
Arun Ganguly, 37, of San Jose, Calif. falsely claimed ties to Tyler Winklevoss and others in order to get hired by investment funds, start-up companies and wealthy individuals.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced Ganguly’s guilty plea Wednesday. The investment adviser pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to scheming to defraud, grand larceny and identity theft. The District Attorney said: “After deceiving numerous people from coast to coast by completely fabricating his past experience, personal wealth, and ability to fund their companies, Arun Ganguly has finally acknowledged the depth of his fraud”.
According to prosecutors, Ganguly duped Carl Kleidman, then managing director of Vision Capital Advisors, an SEC-registered investment firm, into hiring him as a $5,000 a month financial consultant and adviser in 2012. He was hired after claiming to be a veteran consultant with extensive experience, including working for individuals associated with the Carlyle Group and Chesapeake Energy.
Ganguly also falsely purposed to have a personal relationship with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, all associated with the founding of Facebook, as well as the Winklevosses’ father, Howard Winklevoss. Ganguly asserted that the Winklevosses were interested in selling their Facebook shares prior to the company’s initial public offering, and that they would pay a significant finder’s fee to the person who found an overseas buyer for the shares.
To substantiate his fraud, Ganguly sent over 500 emails purporting to be Narendra, Chatterjee and Howard and Tyler Winklevoss. Besides, he forged numerous documents in March and June 2014 pledging to invest money and make payments to the managing director’s private equity fund, under the names of Tyler and Howard Winklevoss, Divya Narendra, and Purendu Chatterjee.
Ganguly created shell companies
Arun Ganguly admitted in court that he had never done business with Tyler Winklevoss, his father Howard Winklevoss, or Divya Narendra, another so-called founder of the social network. He also admitted a family trust he claimed to have managed didn’t exist, and that he created employees at shell companies.
After the hearing, defense attorney Jim Kousouros said that Ganguly had been successful in his early years and that his crimes were “precipitated by the financial crisis and his attempts to stay afloat”.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers said he would sentence him to 2-to-6 years behind bars.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss learned that Ganguly was using their names to trick investment firms to hire him and enlisted a PI firm to look into the fraud. The firm turned over a damning trove of evidence to the Manhattan DA’s Office, helping snag Ganguly.
The twins Cameron and Tyler showed new money nerd Mark Zuckerberg how not playing ball politely with legacy of elite power and Ivy League connections can be expensive. They sued Zuckerberg for $65 million, saying he stole what should be in part theirs, and won.