Fake Hedge-Fund Operator Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

William Shternfeld, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to cheat investors with a fake hedge fund, was sentenced today to five years and three months in prison.

Shternfeld, 39, and Benjamin Koifman, 40, operated the New York-based A.R. Capital Global Fund LP and ARC Global Fund, which took at least $18 million from more than 70 investors who believed their money was going into international real estate, oil and gas, according to prosecutors.

“William Shternfeld and Benjamin Koifman preyed on the elderly to entice them into investing in their so-called fund,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement today. “In some cases, the defendants wiped out the victims’ entire retirement savings.”

Koifman was sentenced in Manhattan on Aug. 12 to five years and three months in prison. At that time, U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein said he would give Shternfeld a similar sentence after a medical examination. They were each ordered to forfeit $7 million.

Shternfeld’s lawyer, Michael Rosen, told the judge at today’s hearing that the Bureau of Prisons might not be able to properly care for Shternfeld, who has oral cancer and wears a mouth prosthesis.

Stein said based on a report he received from the Bureau of Prisons after an examination of Shternfeld, he decided “it is able to provide medical care to address the defendant’s medical condition.”

Much of the money obtained from investors in the fraud was sent to the Ukraine and other countries that were part of the former Soviet Union, prosecutors said. That money won’t be recovered, they said.

Five other men involved in the conspiracy have been sentenced. They include Igor Levin of Brooklyn, New York, and Yevgeny Shvartsshteyn of Belle Harbor, New York, who pleaded guilty and received sentences of 87 months in prison in March.

Shternfeld and Koifman are residents of Marlboro, New Jersey, prosecutors said.

The case is U.S. v. Shternfeld, 10-cr-00031, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).