Hedge fund owner gets 7 years for swindling $13 million from Chicagoans

From 1999 to 2016, Alvin Wilkinson persuaded at least 30 people to invest $13.5 million in his funds, prosecutors said. His victims included his family, friends and colleagues.

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A former director at the Chicago Board Operations Exchange was sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

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A Connecticut investment manager who previously worked as director of the Chicago Board Options Exchange was sentenced to seven years in prison for swindling millions of dollars from dozens of people.

Alvin Wilkinson, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud earlier this year, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. He was initially charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud in 2017.

From 1999 to 2016, Wilkinson persuaded at least 30 people to invest about $13.5 million in his funds, prosecutors said. Some of his victims included his family, friends and colleagues.

Wilkinson previously served as a director at the Chicago Board Options Exchange and claimed he would trade a portfolio on the victims’ behalf, promising his strategies would make a profit, prosecutors said. However, he used the money on personal expenses and to pay off investors “through Ponzi-type payments.”

Along with his seven years and four months in prison, WIlkinson also has to pay about $8 million in restitution, prosecutors said.

“[Wilkinson] was a fiduciary who was supposed to act in investors’ best interest at all times,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Eichenseer said in the statement.“While [he] reassured investors with lie after lie, he was living lavishly courtesy of the millions he was secretly diverting to himself.”

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