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Hedge funds: Alan Fishman – Made off with a limo

Last month a former limousine driver who became the president of a hedge fund pleaded guilty to fraud and is expected to be sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for cheating investors out of nearly $20 million.

The Ukrainian immigrant, Alan Fishman, was a limo driver who catered for rich Wall Street bankers at the turn of the century. When Fishman’s nephew, Gary Gelman, expressed a desire to launch a hedge fund his driver uncle came to help. In 2003 Fishman became president of AR Capital global fund, which operated out of an office in lower Manhattan. Cold calls lured in 70 investors over the following years with promises of investments in overseas real estate companies, oil, gas and other commodities using "active, leveraged trading" and "fundamental and technical analysis".

But Fishman and co parked their clients’ money in three Ukrainian stocks and in a Ukrainian money market fund. A large portion was also wired to bank accounts in Lithuania.

The grand plan started to unwind when one client visited New York to check on his investment. Instead of meeting in the office the fund officials claimed renovations meant that the meeting had to take place in a nearby deli. Fishman, far from living the high life of other hedge fund presidents, kept on working for the limo company.

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