Prominent NY lawyer jailed 20 years in US$400m fraud

NEW YORK: A judge has sentenced a once prominent Manhattan attorney to 20 years in prison in a securities fraud that cost hedge funds and other large investors $400 million.

Marc Dreier was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in May to using the scheme to try to keep his Park Avenue law firm afloat and bankroll a lavish lifestyle.

Defense attorneys argued that between 10 and 12{ years in prison would be fair punishment for the 59-year-old Dreier.

Prosecutors wanted U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff to give him 145 years - only five fewer than notorious swindler Bernard Madoff.

Dreier ran a law firm with nearly 250 attorneys and a client list that included retired New York Giants football star Michael Strahan and former News Corp. publishing executive Judith Regan. - AP

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