Satyen Chatterjee, 65, of Seattle was sentenced to 40 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay over USD 540,000 in restitution for wire fraud, US Attorney Annette Hayes said.
Ms Hayes said Mr Chatterjee defrauded his friends, most of them from the Bengali community.
“This defendant, a native of India, took advantage of the trust that members of his own Bengali community placed in him,” Ms Hayes said.
“As is so often the case, his victims were harmed not only financially, but also in their ability to trust those around them,” Ms Hayes said.
Mr Chatterjee, who once taught at the University of Washington Business School, owned and operated a capital management firm from 1992 until the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions ordered it to cease operating illegally in October, 2013.
At the sentencing hearing, US District Judge Thomas S Zilly told him, “You did, over a long period of time, commit fraud. Stealing money from your friends and clients.”
He had pleaded guilty in May 2015, admitting engaging in a scheme to defraud investors between 2007 and 2013.
According to records filed in the case, at least five victims were defrauded of more than USD 600,000.
He convinced various investors to make investments with him in what he represented were fixed rate securities.
But he instead transferred the funds to his own bank accounts, used the money for his own expenses, or lost it as a day trader in the stock market.