Judge Levies Maximum Sentence In Hedge Fund Scheme

COLORADO SPRINGS – Colorado Attorney General John Suthers today announced that Hamilton Alan Bird (DOB 8/14/63) has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role as ringleader of a Colorado Springs hedge fund scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims out of approximately $7.5 million. Bird was indicted by a statewide grand jury in May of 2006 on three counts of securities fraud and five counts of theft. Bird pled guilty to a count of each on March 14 of this year.

Attorney General Suthers, who has made white collar prosecution a priority during his term in office, issued the following statement following the sentencing: “Stealing money through deceit is just as injurious as taking it though force. Justice requires that white collar criminals be punished accordingly, and Mr. Bird is a case in point.”

According to the original indictment, Bird formed “The Vision Fund” through XL Capital Partners, Inc., in the fall of 2002. Bird informed his clients that XL Capital was entitled to 20 percent of the net profits during each fiscal period as a “performance fee.” Over the course of the next 27 months, however, XL Capital Partners withdrew millions of dollars for improper uses, including the purchase of a private airplane, a personal residence, and other personal expenses.

First assistant attorney general Jean Woodford of the Attorney General’s Securities Fraud Unit prosecuted the case in El Paso County District Court before Judge J. Patrick Kelly, who labeled the defendant “a parasite hanging on the goodwill of the victims.”

Although Bird pled guilty to two Class 3 felonies, with a possible concurrent sentence of up to 12 years, the judge chose to accept Woodford’s suggestion that the sentences be levied consecutively, for 24 years in total. Bird’s codefendants, David Edward Newton and Douglas Alan Scott, were sentenced previously to 15 years probation for their role in the case. The scheme was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office after referral by Colorado securities commissioner Fed Joseph.

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