A money manager who claimed ties to Belgian royalty was sentenced on Wednesday to 3 to 9 years in prison after pleading guilty to running a $7 million Ponzi scheme, Manhattan's district attorney said.
Guy Albert de Chimay, 47, was sentenced by New York State Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro in Manhattan. Carro also ordered de Chimay to pay more than $6 million in restitution.
The defendant had pleaded guilty on February 2 to four felony counts including grand larceny, scheming to defraud, forgery and violating the Martin Act, a New York state securities law.
De Chimay's sentence was part of a plea bargain with the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
The sentencing marks the end of a very sad chapter for my client, de Chimay's lawyer Gordon Mehler said in an interview. He is committed to doing his best when he gets out of prison to try to make the people who lost money whole to the best of his ability.
Vance said de Chimay solicited people to invest in a funding vehicle for real estate projects, but never followed through on the promised investments.
The defendant also used his distant connection with the Chimay royal family of Belgium to gain clients' trust, and falsely told them he controlled more than $100 million of family money, Vance has said.
Investigators said de Chimay used stolen money to pay for a mortgage on a luxury home, a summer rental home in the Hamptons, divorce lawyers, car payments and credit card bills -- and also to pay other investors.
De Chimay and his firm Chimay Capital Management Inc agreed in January to give up ill-gotten gains in settling a related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil lawsuit.
The case is New York v. de Chimay, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 05256/2010.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Gary Hill)