March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Guy de Chimay, who pleaded guilty to running what prosecutors called a $7 million Ponzi scheme and claiming a link to a Belgian royal fortune, was sentenced to three to nine years in prison.
Besides the prison term, Justice Gregory Carro of New York State Supreme Court today ordered de Chimay, 47, to pay restitution of more than $6 million. De Chimay pleaded guilty last month to state charges of securities fraud, grand larceny, scheming to defraud and forgery.
De Chimay declined to make a statement in court. His lawyer Martin B. Adelman of New York said he was too overcome with emotion to speak.
The sentence imposed by Carro was part of a plea bargain with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
“He has no money,” Adelman said of his client outside the courtroom after the sentencing. De Chimay spent some on himself and made bad investments, the lawyer said.
The money manager used a link to the Chimay royal family of Belgium to entice victims to lend him money for what he termed a bridge loan, according to Manhattan prosecutors. He “guaranteed” the investments, falsely claiming control over more than $100 million associated with the family, they said.
De Chimay used a “distant connection” to the family “to gain the trust of his victims -- his friends -- before ripping them off,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement on Feb. 2, when de Chimay pleaded guilty.
De Chimay is related to the family through his grandfather, Adelman said.
The money manager was sued last year by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Manhattan. He and his fund agreed in that case to disgorge illegal gains and pay a civil penalty without admitting or denying wrongdoing, according to a Jan. 31 court filing.
The criminal case is People v. De Chimay, 05256-10, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan). The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Chimay Capital Management Inc., 10-04582, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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