Caspersen Lawyer Says He Doesn't See Criminal Fraud Trial

  • Lawyer's comments come in hearing on SEC civil lawsuit
  • Caspersen accused of plotting $95 million investor fraud

A new lawyer for Andrew Caspersen, the banker from a gilded New York family accused of plotting to defraud investors of $95 million, said he told a judge that the criminal case may be resolved within 60 days without a trial.

“This case doesn’t cry out as a tryable case,” Attorney Paul Shechtman said he told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman at a hearing on a related fraud lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “I said there are discussions in the criminal case as well, and that might get resolved in 60 days, but I thought a 90-day adjournment was a sensible course.”

Shechtman said Berman agreed to adjourn the case for 90 days.

Caspersen, who worked for PJT Partners until he was fired March 28, was charged with plotting to defraud investors of $95 million. The charitable foundation of hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon said Caspersen duped it out of $24.6 million, while an investor at the fund lost another $400,000 of his own money. PJT said April 8 that Caspersen defrauded family and friends of an additional $14 million.

Shechtman said Caspersen was released Wednesday on $5 million bail. An April 11 court filing said Caspersen would remain hospitalized “in a secure unit at New York Hospital” until he met modified bail terms that included posting $1 million in cash and his house in Bronxville, New York. At his bail hearing on March 28, a judge said Caspersen must undergo alcohol testing and treatment as well as mental-health evaluation and counseling.

At the time of his arrest, Caspersen was represented by attorney Dan Levy. Shechtman said he has replaced Levy.

Late in 2014, Caspersen replaced $8.9 million of legitimate invoices prepared by PJT with false ones to help him misdirect funds, the firm said in an April 8 regulatory filing. That was almost a year earlier than the alleged fraud outlined by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the SEC in their complaints.

PJT said Caspersen was terminated for cause and all of his deferred compensation was forfeited. Caspersen worked for PJT’s Park Hill unit since 2013 when it was still a part of Blackstone Group LP. He’s charged with securities fraud and wire fraud and faces a maximum prison term of 20 years on each count.

The case is U.S. v. Caspersen, 16-mj-2011, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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