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LI broker gets 15 years in $66M Ponzi scheme

A federal judge Monday sentenced Michael MacCaull, 38, of Northport, to more than 15 years in prison for his role in a $66-million Ponzi scheme.

MacCaull and his partner, Bradley Eisner, pleaded guilty in July 2008 to fraud charges and forfeited more than $28 million.

Reading from a prepared statement, MacCaull told a Brooklyn courtroom, "I apologize to all the victims of this crime," and he blamed his own "greed" and "stupidity" for his actions. "We stole their money and lied to them about it for seven years," he said. "Every dollar I spent was someone else's dollar."

In 2001, MacCaull and Eisner created a company called Razor FX, with offices in Great Neck and New Jersey, that offered investors worldwide significant returns by purportedly trading in foreign currency.

The firm sent out fictitious account statements listing phony trades and profits. As part of the scheme, investors who wanted to withdraw money were paid with funds from other investors.

MacCaull, a former securities broker, began serving a 15-month sentence in 2002 for his involvement in a separate securities fraud. Prosecutors said he helped direct Razor FX from behind bars, with Eisner making weekly prisons visit to discuss that company's business.

Benton Campbell, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said Razor FX had taken in $110 million from investors, leaving 272 victims.

U.S. District Court Judge Dora Irizarry, who said she doubted the sincerity of MacCaull's apology, told him that she was considering a sentence of 240 months but decided to impose 188 months, the maximum under sentencing guidelines, after hearing testimony that he was less culpable in the plot than Eisner, who has been cooperating with federal officials and has not yet been sentenced. The amount of restitution was set at $66,254,694.60.

The government said Eisner and MacCaull pocketed much of the money for lavish personal expenses, citing a $3-million home that Eisner bought with cash and his purchase of artwork including a Picasso. MacCaull also owned Aston Martin and Range Rover vehicles.

MacCaull had sought a reduced sentence, claiming that Eisner was more heavily involved in the scheme and that MacCaull had hardly interacted with investors.

MacCaull said he launched the company as a "legitimate" firm, making real trades, and only began taking investors' money to cover up large losses.


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