Former banker Andrew Caspersen pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges in which he’s accused of plotting to steal $95 million, although he indicated that could change soon.
Caspersen appeared in Manhattan federal court Tuesday for a brief procedural hearing, two months after his lawyer said there was almost no defense to the charges.
When asked by the judge on Tuesday whether he intended to plead guilty, Caspersen’s lawyer Paul Shechtman said “I think that’s most likely. Almost a certainty.” The judge scheduled another hearing for July 6.
Caspersen worked for PJT Partners Inc. until he was fired March 28. The charitable foundation of hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon said Caspersen duped it out of $24.6 million, while an investor at the fund lost another $400,000 of his own money. PJT said April 8 that Caspersen defrauded family and friends of an additional $14 million.
Before moving in 2013 to Park Hill Group, then a part of private-equity giant Blackstone Group LP, Caspersen spent about 10 years at Coller Capital. Park Hill, which helps raise capital for hedge funds, private equity firms and secondary funds, was spun out by Blackstone and is now owned by Paul J. Taubman’s PJT Partners.
On the day the charges were announced, PJT said Caspersen was fired and all of his deferred compensation was forfeited. In April, prosecutors and a defense lawyer said they were in plea talks.
The case is U.S. v. Caspersen, 16-mj-2011, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).