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June 15, 2016

Wall St. Scion in Charity-Fraud Case Lays Blame on Gambling

A lawyer for Andrew Caspersen, the former finance executive accused of cheating a Wall Street peer’s foundation of nearly $25 million as part of a much larger fraud scheme, said in court Tuesday that his client was driven by an uncontrollable gambling addiction, reports The New York Times.

Mr. Caspersen was arrested in March on charges of defrauding multiple investors, among them relatives and friends. Prosecutors initially said the son of the late financier and philanthropist Finn M.W. Caspersen, of scheming to steal some $95 million through phony investments but have since upped that estimate to $150 million. The alleged victims include the Moore Charitable Foundation headed by hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon.

Defense lawyer Paul Shechtman said Andrew Caspersen squandered tens of millions of dollars on a “pathological” gambling compulsion that evolved from casinos and sports wagering to enormous weekly “put options,” bets that the stock market would decline. Mr. Shechtman said his client would likely plead guilty to fraud charges at a hearing next month.