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7 Jul 2009

Hedge Fund Fraudster Faces Up To 10 Years

'Hedge fund operator' Rod Stringer has pleaded guilty to money laundering, in a $14 million Ponzi scheme, federal prosecutors say.

He allegedly took money from 44 victims over 8 years, claiming to be "a day trader and hedge fund operator, although he was not a licensed securities broker," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Stringer doled out about half the money from the phoney Texas hedge fund to some victims, but kept $6.9 million for himself.

"He solicited and enticed individuals to invest money with him by making false representations and promises, such as: the return on investors' money would be approximately 50% profit; he was a day trader and had a foolproof system; the return on investors' money would be better than a savings account; the accounts were liquid and investors could withdraw their money anytime; and he had several computers that watched the trend line of stocks automatically and advised him when he should move money in and out of the market," a written statement from prosecutors said.

Stringer faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. The plea agreement calls for Stringer to forfeit more than $1.5 million.

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