NEW YORK — A 65-year-old Indian American former professor from Seattle, Wash., pleaded guilty May 18 to charges of defrauding individuals of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and could face up to 20 years in prison, according to a PTI report.
Satyen Chatterjee, a former faculty member at Seattle's University of Washington Business School, had operated an investment advisory business for more than 20 years until the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions ordered it to cease operating illegally in October 2013.
He admitted engaging in a scheme to defraud investors between 2007 and 2013 and will be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly Aug. 20.
According to records filed in the case, at least five victims were defrauded of more than $600,000.
Chatterjee convinced various investors to make investments with him in what he represented were fixed rate securities.
However, he transferred the funds to his own bank accounts, used the money for his own expenses, or lost it as a day trader in the stock market.
He also solicited and accepted investments in a nutritional supplement company but instead of actually using the money for the company, Chatterjee used the money for his own expenses or to pay off prior investors in the fixed rate securities scheme.
Chatterjee faces up to 20 years in prison but under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors could recommend a lesser sentence.
The FBI adds: Chatterjee, aka Satyen Chattopadhyay, who owned and operated Strategic Captital Management, pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
For one investor Chatterjee created a false account statement making the investor believe his investment was secure. In 2011, Chatterjee sent a series of lulling e-mails to some clients falsely indicating that long-time investment associates had defaulted on agreements he had with them, and blaming them for losses in the investments.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend no more than 63 months in prison for Chatterjee; however, Judge Zilly is free to sentence him up to the statutory maximum of 20 years in prison.