A former enforcement lawyer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pleaded guilty to impersonating two people to help confessed Ponzi scheme operator Marc Dreier defraud hedge funds.
Appearing in Manhattan federal court on Monday, Robert Miller, 52, admitted to fraud in the attempted sale of a $44.7 million fictitious promissory note to two hedge funds by impersonating a representative of the Canadian pension plan and later a representative of an Icelandic hedge fund.
Miller pleaded guilty to one count each of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.
The sales were part of Dreier's nearly $400 million Ponzi scheme, which led to last December's collapse of the law firm that bore his name.
Dreier confessed to the fraud and was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.
According to prosecutors, Dreier provided Miller with a cell phone with a Canadian dialing code in November 2008, and instructed him to impersonate a representative of the Canadian pension plan based on a detailed script.
Later that month, after a representative of the hedge fund told Dreier the deal was unlikely to go through, he had Miller make a second call and again provided a detailed script.
I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I deeply regret what I did, Miller said.
Miller was paid $100,000, he said in court.
Miller was ordered released on a $100,000 bond. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The case is U.S. v. Miller, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-01077.
(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)