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Trader faces up to 6 1/2 years in prison

By Bloomberg News
March 12, 2010

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NEW YORK — Ezra Levy, a former hedge fund trader and former chief financial officer of Boston Provident Partners LP, pleaded guilty to federal charges he stole about $3 million from the Manhattan-based firm.

Levy, who was arrested in November, pleaded guilty to two schemes to defraud Boston Provident.

In federal court yesterday, Levy admitted he transferred $2.45 million from Boston Provident to his own account. He also said he had the fund buy shares of Atlas Energy Inc. and another stock at inflated prices from an account he controlled, generating a $537,000 profit.

“I used the funds to pay my personal expenses,’’ Levy, 32, told US District Judge Kevin Castel.

Boston Provident fired Levy after learning of the scheme.

Levy joined Kramer Spellman LP, which changed its name to Boston Provident in 2004, as an analyst in 2001.

Before that, he worked for Prudential Securities and SG Cowen after starting out as an accountant in a textiles firm.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Levy, who is free on bail, faces between 63 and 78 months in prison when he is sentenced for securities fraud and wire fraud.