By Ellen Wulfhorst
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to stealing $1 million from his great-aunt and great-uncle by persuading them to invest their retirement savings in a high-risk, money-losing investment venture, officials said.
Khawaja Saud Masud, 37, must pay $500,000 in restitution and will be deported to Pakistan, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.
Masud persuaded his relatives, a 75-year old retired pediatrician and his wife, to invest with him in a purported hedge fund that he said was safer than a mutual fund, Schneiderman said.
But Masud used a highly speculative and aggressive investment strategy, trading stocks several times a day, and lost more than $900,000 of their money in three months, Schneiderman said.
Masud, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty to felony charges of grand larceny and securities fraud.
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“The defendant convinced his own relatives to turn over their retirement savings with promises of a safe, lucrative investment. Instead, he squandered away their money with a risky strategy that could only benefit himself,” Schneiderman said in the statement.
Masud entered his guilty plea before Justice Robert Neary in Westchester County Court in White Plains, New York.
Since Masud is not a U.S. citizen, he will be deported to his native Pakistan, Schneiderman said.
His sentence does not entail prison time, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman's office said.
(Editing by Peter Cooney)