A San Ramon man who operated several investment funds admitted during a guilty plea in federal court in San Francisco today to defrauding investors of $4 million in a Ponzi scheme.Edward Ehee, 45, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to three counts of wire fraud, tax evasion and filing a false income tax return.U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello said Ehee admitted during the plea that he bilked investors of more than $4 million between 2001 and 2006.Russoniello said Ehee acknowledged telling investors he would earn
them high returns with low risk through complex trading strategies in the securities market. Instead, Ehee admitted, he diverted most of the funds for improper uses. He said he used the funds either in a Ponzi scheme, in which he used money from new investors to repay previous investors, or to pay for personal expenses such as his mortgage and a car.Ehee also admitted to sending investors false account statements and fictitious audit opinion letters, Russoniello said. Ehee’s investment funds included San Francisco-based Compass Fund Management LLC and Viper Capital Management LLC and several related funds with similar names.Ehee will be sentenced by Illston on Aug. 7. He faces a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in prison as well as an order to pay restitution to the victims and back taxes to the U.S. government.The actual sentence will be determined after consideration of federal sentencing guidelines.Ehee was charged with the three counts by federal prosecutors in January.
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