Hector May, a prominent investment adviser, has pleaded guilty to federal charges to participating in a conspiracy to defraud clients in the area out of more than $11 million.
May, 77, of Orangeburg in Rockland County, the president of Executive Compensation Planners in New York City, admitted stealing the money with the help of an unindicted co-conspirator, said Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced on Thursday.
He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy in White Plains.
"As Hector May admitted today, for decades he and his co-conspirator violated his clients’ trust by siphoning money from their accounts to line their pockets and continue to perpetuate their illegal scheme," said Berman. "In total, May and his co-conspirator stole more than $11 million. Now, he has confessed to his crimes and faces significant time in prison.”
He faces nearly 20 years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines and potential restitution of more than $8 million when sentenced on March 15.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, May admitted that from 1995 to earlier this year, he used a complicated scheme to steal money from 15 of his clients to cover business losses and for personal expenses, as well as to make payments to other victims in order to conceal the fraud.
“This case has all the markings of a classic Ponzi Scheme with payments made to investors with other investor money, bogus account statements, etc.," said Philip Bartlett, inspector-in-charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. "Mr. May also used investor money to pay personal and business expenses. His day of reckoning has arrived."
In a related case, the Securities & Exchange Commission brought a civil action today against May and another in the White Plains federal court.
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