Mark Malik, a New York hedge fund manager who once feigned his own death to avoid repaying an investor, was found guilty of fraud after a two-week trial in New York state court. Malik was convicted by a jury of all 28 counts, including grand larceny and securities fraud. He will serve up to twenty years in prison.
“Our message is clear: if you commit securities fraud in New York, we will bring you to justice,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in announcing the guilty verdict.
Malik was arrested earlier this year for allegedly stealing more than $800,000 from local and foreign investors.
Malik represented himself to investors as an experienced trader with a Harvard degree, according to Schneiderman. However, his previous jobs included working as a traffic agent for the NYPD and waiter/bus boy for Max Brenner in Manhattan’s Union Square neighborhood.
At trial and against the advice of his lawyer, Malik took the witness stand. Wearing khaki pants and a grey sweater, he told the jury that he dreamed of working on Wall Street after getting large tips, between $50 and $100, from a former Max Brenner customer. Malik asked the customer one day what he did for a living. The customer responded that he worked on Wall Street, which prompted Malik to seek a job there. He briefly worked on Wall Street at a brokerage firm before soliciting money for his hedge fund, which went by a number of monikers including Wolff Hedge.
Malik’s investors also took the stand and testified that Malik refused to be straight with them when they asked for their money back.
“I had excuses, delays,” testified New York real estate agent William Breedlove, who lost $12,000 to Malik. The wannabe hedge fund manager would claim that “he was busy, that he was travelling, that he was trying to recruit other investors, that he was busy with markets and could not get back to me,” Breedlove said.
Malik once went so far as to fake a heart attack to avoid repaying investors. In September 2013, a fictitious employee named Courtney sent an e-mail to an investor who had been asking for his money back to report that the delay was because Malik had died.
“Mr. Malik has been (sic) passed away with the heart attack after accident. We will dissolve the fund shortly,” the e-mail said.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.