Manager pleads guilty in $100M fraud case

Aug. 3, 2011 at 3:53 PM

SEATTLE, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- An investment fund manager in Seattle has pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that lost investors an estimated $100 million, court records say.

The fund manager, Frederick Darren Berg, was arrested in October after seven years of fraudulently raising money from investors for Meridian Group, but using the money to fund a luxurious life style.

Berg owned a home worth $5.3 million, a yacht and numerous luxury cars, Seattle.pi.com reported Wednesday.

"Mr. Berg explained how he had been booking fake loans for his funds for several years and had misappropriated million of dollars for expenses unrelated to the investment funds since as early as 2001," prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Berg admitted he worked "around the clock" creating fraudulent documents to cover his actions.

Berg is set to be sentenced Nov. 4, but has agreed to an 18-year sentence after pleading guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud, Seattlepi.com reported.

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