Former Faculty Member at UW Business School Sentenced to Prison for Investment Fraud Scheme
Used Investor Money for Credit Card Bills, Jewelry, and Home Improvements
A Seattle man who operated an investment advisory business for more than 20 years was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 40 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $547,461 in restitution for wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. SATYEN CHATTERJEE, a/k/a Satyen Chattopadhyay, 65, owned and operated Strategic Capital Management, Inc. from 1992 until the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions ordered it to cease operating illegally in October 2013. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly told him, “You did, over a long period of time, commit fraud…. stealing money from your friends and clients.”
“This defendant, a native of India, took advantage of the trust that members of his own Bengali community placed in him,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “As is so often the case, his victims were harmed not only financially, but also in their ability to trust those around them.”
CHATTERJEE, who once taught at the University of Washington Business School, pleaded guilty in May 2015, admitting engaging in a scheme to defraud investors between 2007 and 2013. According to records filed in the case and with the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the investigation revealed that at least five victims were defrauded of more than $600,000. CHATTERJEE convinced various investors to make investments with him in what he represented were fixed rate securities. But in fact CHATTERJEE 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.
For one investor CHATTERJEE created a false account statement making the investor believe his investment was secure. In 2011, CHATTERJEE sent a series of lulling emails to some clients falsely indicating that long time investment associates had defaulted on agreements he had with them, and blaming them for losses in the investments.
The case was investigated by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin W. Arnold and Special Assistant United States Attorney Robert Kondrat. Mr. Kondrat is an attorney with DFI.