NEW YORK, July 7 (UPI) -- Former Wall Street executive Andrew Caspersen pleaded guilty to leading a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded friends, family and a foundation out of more than $38 million.
Caspersen, 39, told a U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan the scheme was all to feed what Caspersen claimed was "a gambling addiction that was all consuming."
The son of the late Beneficial Corp. CEO Finn Caspersen lost $123 million of his investor's money by reckless speculating on the S&P 500 index.
The one count of security fraud and one count of wire fraud could put the former executive in prison for up to 20 years. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 2.
Caspersen's lawyer contended a "compulsive gambling addiction and mental illness" prompted the Ivy-League educated former executive to plot a scheme in which he got money from his family members, colleagues and former schoolmates, the parents of his former fiancee and a billionaire hedge fund manager's foundation.
"The people I harmed were people I cared for the most," Caspersen said, reading from a statement. "I could not be more sorry or ashamed for my crimes."
It is not known if Federal District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff will take into account his plea and Caspersen alleged mental health affliction as reasons for leniency.