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New York lawyer pleads guilty in $700 million fraud

  • Story Highlights
  • Marc Dreier pleads guilty to defrauding hedge funds of about $700 million
  • Dreier, 58, faces maximum prison time of 145 years; sentencing set for July
  • Prosecutors said he sold fake promissory notes, misappropriated client funds
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York attorney Marc Dreier on Monday pleaded guilty Monday to charges of defrauding hedge funds of about $700 million, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Dreier, 58, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

He faces maximum prison time of 145 years, and must forfeit "...proceeds of the fraud offenses and property derived there from, including real estate, a yacht, and a number of works of art" according to an indictment filed against him in March.

Prosecutors alleged that from 2004 to 2008, Dreier sold fake promissory notes and misappropriated client funds from his law firm.

Losses to Dreier's clients and purchasers of the various fake notes exceeded $400 million, but Dreier himself collected over $700 million in profits from the fake sales, prosecutors said.

Dreier is the founder and managing partner of Dreier LLP, a law firm of more than 250 attorneys with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and elsewhere in the country, federal officials said.

His sentencing is scheduled for July. Gerald Shargel, Dreier's attorney, did not return a call from CNN.

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