- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) - A suburban New York investment fund manager has been sentenced to six years in prison for running a nearly $18 million Ponzi scheme.

James Peister, of St. James, on Long Island, pleaded guilty in November to committing securities fraud, bilking 74 investors of $17.9 million.

The scheme went on for nearly a decade. Prosecutors say he promised money would be invested safely in a variety of securities but instead spent it on personal luxuries.

They say he sent phony account statements to investors and submitted bogus financial statements to an independent auditor.

The scheme collapsed in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008, when he could no longer keep up with redemption demands.

His sentence includes paying restitution to his victims.

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