A financier who was convicted on charges relating to fraud was sentenced to four years in prison by a New York federal judge on Nov. 4. According to court records, the man defrauded a number of individuals, including the parents of a 9/11 victim, of more than $38 million.

The 39-year-old investor reportedly began a Ponzi scheme in 2014. He paid a high return rate on initial investments but made bets on the stock market that ultimately failed. Initially, he reportedly made enough that he would have been able to repay all of the money he owed and still be left with approximately $50 million. However, his attorney stated that he has a major gambling addiction that prevented him from taking fully-informed risks.

He was taken into custody in March 2016. Prior to being arrested, it was said that he had prepared a suicide letter to his wife and to his creditors where he admitted to being ashamed for what he did. As a result, the judge ignored the maximum 16-year prison sentence, arguing that the length of time was “absurd” based on the circumstances.

When people are accused of major white collar crimes such as fraud, they can potentially face serious consequences that include a long prison sentence. If they have a serious addiction that prevents them from being able to rationally understand the consequences of their actions, an attorney may argue for treatment in order to reduce the length of the sentence. Otherwise, if there is evidence that the authorities did not properly handle case evidence or follow procedures, the attorney may work to get the case dismissed.

Source: New York Daily News, “Gambling addict financier Caspersen gets four years in $38M fraud“, Barbara Ross, Nov. 4, 2016