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N. Suburban Hedge Fund Manager Gets 6 Years

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

(AP) – A Chicago area hedge fund manager has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme allegedly orchestrated by Minnesota businessman Tom Petters.

Forty-five-year-old Gregory Malcolm Bell, of Highland Park, Ill., pleaded guilty last October to one count of wire fraud. He learned his fate Thursday before U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle in St. Paul.

Prosecutors say Bell’s hedge fund, Lancelot Investment Management, invested all its money in the Ponzi scheme. He admitted making sham money transfers to make it look like Petters Co. Inc. was repaying investors. They say Lancelot raised more than $200 million from 43 new investors based on false representations that PCI was sound, helping to keep the Ponzi scheme going.

Petters is serving a 50-year sentence but is appealing his conviction.