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An alleged Sheepshead Bay swindler is facing 45 years in prison for masterminding a stock scam that bilked $540,000 from six investors peppered across the country.
Officials alleged that instead of investing in his victim’s futures, 30-year-old Adam Heng used the money to pay for a $150,000 home in Binghamton, as well as excursions to pricey restaurants and strip clubs.
“People gave Adam Heng their life savings, and in his sick greed, he robbed them blind,” said Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes while announcing Heng’s indictment Thursday. “It takes a complete lack of conscience to commit this type of cold-hearted crime.”
Prosecutors alleged that Heng, a resident of East 26th Street, orchestrated the entire hustle from the outset by creating a phony investment firm, Pershing Capital, LLC, which he operated out of a shanty flat at the corner of Quentin Road and East 16th Street.
Investigators alleged that once he had his company in place, he would start “cold-calling” potential investors that he learned about from some legitimate work at brokerage houses he had worked with for a short period.
In total, Heng allegedly hooked in six investors – five of them senior citizens.
Hynes said that one of the investors was a 78-year-old Korean War veteran who lost $320,000 to Heng’s alleged deviousness. None of his victims were from New York. His closest victim lived in Pennsylvania, Hynes said.
Prosecutors said that the investors never knew that they were being bilked because Heng would allegedly send them falsified investment statements. He even played with the investors’ hopes, sending them bogus “proof” that they were making returns on their money, officials alleged.
Those lies would make Heng’s victims want to invest more, but the money continued to go right into his pocket, Hynes alleged.
The scam lasted between March 2005 and September 2006, when one of Heng’s clients contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to report his suspicions about the would-be stock broker.
After looking into the complaint, the SEC handed the case over to Kings County prosecutors, who charged Heng after a year-long investigation.
“It took some time,” said a source. “There were a lot of financial records we had to go through.”
Heng was charged with grand larceny, money laundering and scheme to defraud, said prosecutors. He was remanded to custody Thursday although his attorney Steve Williams called for a bail hearing this week.
Calls to Williams’ office were not returned as this paper went to press.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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