An investment advisor pleaded guilty to fraud in New York state court on Wednesday, admitting that he forged documents and sent emails in the name of Tyler Winklevoss and others associated with the founding of Facebook Inc, among other crimes.
Arun Ganguly, 37, of San Jose, Calif., falsely claimed ties to Winklevoss and others in order to get hired by investment funds, start-up companies and wealthy individuals.
He deceived "people from coast to coast by completely fabricating his past experience, personal wealth and ability to fund their companies," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.
He duped Carl Kleidman, for instance, then managing director of Vision Capital Advisors, an SEC-registered investment firm, into hiring him as a $5,000 a month financial consultant and advisor in 2012, according to prosecutors.
In court on Wednesday, Ganguly pleaded guilty to scheming to defraud, grand larceny and identity theft.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers said he would sentence him to 2-to-6 years behind bars. He set formal sentencing for April 8.
As part of his scheme, Ganguly claimed Tyler Winklevoss and his brother, Cameron, would pay a finder's fee if he found an overseas buyer for their Facebook Inc shares before the social network company's initial public offering in 2012, according to prosecutors. He also said they would invest millions in Kleidman's private equity fund, Fortitude Partners, prosecutors said.
In court, Ganguly admitted he had never done business with Tyler Winklevoss, his father Howard Winklevoss, or Divya Narendra, another so-called founder of the social network.
He also admitted a family trust he claimed to have managed did not exist, and that he created employees at shell companies.
Defense attorney Jim Kousouros said after the hearing that Ganguly had been successful in his early years and that his crimes were "precipitated by the financial crisis and his attempts to stay afloat."
He said Ganguly "accepted full responsibility" for the fraud.
The Winklevoss twins are known for their legal battles with Mark Zuckerberg over the origins of Facebook, made famous in the 2010 movie, "The Social Network."
Ganguly also claims to have worked for former Chesapeake Energy Corp chief executive Aubrey McClendon and for Stephen Norris, a co-founder of Carlyle Group, among other corporate leaders, though prosecutors said it is unclear to what extent.
A spokesman for McClendon had no immediate comment. Efforts to reach Kleidman and Norris were unsuccessful.