By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former money manager who once co-owned the New York Islanders professional hockey team was re-sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison for his role in a $554 million fraud, after an appellate court overturned an earlier 10-year term.
Paul Greenwood, a former executive at WG Trading Co in Greenwich, Connecticut, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan for defrauding investors, including university foundations and charities, from 1996 to 2009.
Prosecutors said Greenwood, 69, and business partner Stephen Walsh issued $554 million of promissory notes to conceal misappropriations that helped fund their lavish lifestyles, including a horse farm and a stuffed teddy bear collection for Greenwood.
Preska, who took over the case after another judge died, called the conduct serious, but she credited Greenwood for various good deeds and his cooperation with prosecutors and a court-appointed receiver seeking to recover investor losses.
“I salute you for your charitable works and your cooperation in this case,” she said.
Greenwood, who is housed at the same medium-security federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, as convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges including securities fraud.
Greenwood told Preska via teleconference that he was sorry.
“I cannot express deeply enough my remorse for what I have done,” he said.
Walsh, WG’s chief executive, and Greenwood, its chief operating and chief financial officer, were part of a group that controlled the National Hockey League’s Islanders team in the 1990s. They were arrested in 2009.
Soon after, Greenwood began cooperating with prosecutors in the case against Walsh and with WG’s receiver, who has recovered around 98 percent of investor claims, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Masella said in court.
Walsh, 72, pleaded guilty in April 2014 to securities fraud. U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum sentenced Walsh in November 2014 to 20 years in prison and gave Greenwood a 10-year prison term a month later.
A federal appeals court in January overturned Greenwood’s sentence, saying it was based on findings about victim losses that were unsupported by the record. The case was reassigned to Preska after Cedarbaum died in February.
The case is U.S. v. Greenwood et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-cr-00722.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York, editing by G Crosse)