A former hedge fund manager has been sentenced to six months in jail for attempting to rig the bidding process for distressed assets from the Neiman Marcus bankruptcy.
Daniel Kamensky, the founder of a New York-based hedge fund, was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and extortion charges for pressuring a rival bidder to withdraw from bidding for assets from the bankruptcy of luxury department store Neiman Marcus. He was also sentenced to six months of supervised release and fined US$55,000.
According to the complaint against him, Kamensky, who co-chaired a committee of unsecured creditors involved in the proceedings, threatened to use his position on that committee to prevent an investment bank from acquiring securities in the bankruptcy proceeding for a higher price than his hedge fund was offering. He also said that the fund would cease doing business with the bank.
Ultimately, the bank decided not to submit its bid and informed the committee that it was because a hedge fund client had asked it not to bid.
Kamensky later asked an employee of the bank to tell the committee that he’d only told the bank not to bid unless it was serious, saying, “Do you understand…I can go to jail?”
He did end up facing charges from both the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He pleaded guilty to the criminal charges on Feb. 3.
“Daniel Kamensky committed bankruptcy fraud – undermining the integrity of bankruptcy proceedings and violating his fiduciary responsibility – in an effort to take extra profits for himself and his hedge fund. As he himself predicted, this fraud has now landed Daniel Kamensky in prison,” said U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss in a release.