Fallen Financier Gets 3 Years For $23M Commodities Fraud
By Pete Brush of Law360.com
A Manhattan federal judge on Tuesday sentenced fraudster Haena Park, who left dozens of friends and family members in financial dire straits after a six-year campaign of lies, to three years in prison, citing the defendant’s remorse, health issues and her pregnancy for showing leniency.
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, who saw the case as “one of the hardest sentences that I’ve had to impose,” ordered Park to make more than $20 million of restitution to her victims and serve three years of supervised release for her $23 million fraud.
Haena Park, left, leaves Manhattan federal court Tuesday with husband Jacob Ham (Pete Brush | Law360)
“I believe that you are genuinely remorseful,” the judge told the Harvard-educated Park, cutting very significant time from guidelines that called for a sentence of between nine and ten years.
Judge Abrams said she did not understand how someone could have committed such a “staggering” fraud over such a long period — from 2010 until 2016, the year she was arrested — without harmful intent. The judge forcefully rejected a defense attempt to have the defendant sentenced to house arrest.
“You had more options in life than just about anyone I see there in that seat,” Judge Abrams told Park, who worked at Goldman Sachs and Fortress Investment Group before beginning a disastrous solo trading career that led to her January guilty plea.
Park fought back tears as she apologized to victims for a “monstrous web of lies.”
“My heart crumbles every day,” she said. “I’m so sorry. I truly wish there was something I could do to undo the harm.”
Prosecutor Christine I. Magdo rejected the defense assertion that Park had no intent to profit from her crimes, noting that the defendant spent lavishly on travel, spas, rent and a house and car for her parents even as she fleeced a wheelchair-bound victim out of $4 million.
“In truth she is nothing more than a con artist,” Magdo said.
Park was ordered to return to court Nov. 29 — three months after her baby boy was set to be delivered in late August — at which time she will be ordered to surrender to prison, likely to a Texas facility with medical expertise.
Park is represented by Julia L. Gatto of the Federal Defenders of New York.
The government is represented by Christine I. Magdo.
The case is U.S. v. Park, case number 1:16-cr-00473, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The team of investment fraud lawyers at Starr Austen & Miller LLP fights for the protection of investors and handles cases involving securities arbitration misrepresentation, overconcentration, broker fraud, negligence and breach of trust.