Wasson Capital Advisors co-founder Anand Sekaran pleaded guilty to perpetrating a $2 million fraud in which he misled investors about the value of his fund.
Sekaran, 44, of Miami, who started New York-based Wasson in 1997, told U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson in Manhattan today that Wasson sustained substantial losses after the 2008 financial crisis and several redemption requests. Sekaran said he began to operate a Ponzi scheme, distributing funds to some investors from other investors from 2009 to June 2011.
He told the judge he misrepresented to existing and potential investors Wasson’s investment value and past performance and falsely claimed Wasson was stable and doing well to secure additional investments. Sekaran also admitted creating and sending faked performance statements through the U.S. mail and in Internet messages.
“In the midst of the most recent market crash, Wasson suffered very significant losses between 2009 and 2011,” Sekaran said in court. “Wasson, through me, misrepresented the investment returns and account holdings.”
Sekaran pleaded guilty to a count of securities fraud and mail fraud, which each carry prison terms of as long as 20 years. As part of a plea agreement, Patterson said Sekaran faces 41 to 51 months in prison under sentencing guidelines. The judge set sentencing for Feb. 19.
Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Sekaran, declined to comment after court on the plea.
The case is U.S. v. Sekaran, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).