NEW YORK — A Sarasota hedge fund manager accused of bilking investors of up to $350 million told family members he expected to be labeled a "mini Madoff" after disappearing on a two-week jaunt across the country before turning himself in, court documents filed Thursday show.
Between Jan. 14 and his Jan. 27 surrender, Arthur Nadel stopped in San Antonio, Texas; Hollywood, Calif.; and San Francisco before returning to Florida, Assistant U.S. Attorney Reed M. Brodsky said in the documents.
While on the run, Nadel wrote letters to family members musing about a potential book deal and referring to Bernard Madoff, the disgraced New York money manager accused of orchestrating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, Brodsky wrote.
Brodsky urged a judge to hold Nadel without bail until trial, saying the 76-year-old's exploits before and while he was on the run show he will remain a risk to flee. Nadel, charged with one count of securities fraud, is being held at a lower Manhattan lockup.
Nadel's overall conduct shows he was "exceptionally deceitful, brazen, creative and resourceful in achieving his criminal goals," Brodsky said.
Nadel's lawyer did not immediately return a telephone call.
Nadel likely fled last month because he knew he could face life in prison for the disappearance of $200 million to $350 million of investor money in six different funds he managed, Brodsky said.
Over the past 10 years, Nadel defrauded hundreds of investors by falsely claiming he was a successful lawyer and trader, only to spend their millions on a lavish lifestyle, the government said.
The government has serious concerns about the whereabouts of $20 million Nadel wired out of his investment funds from Jan. 1, 2008, through Jan. 21 of this year, Brodsky said.
Prosecutors said the scheme unraveled last year when the economy plunged and Nadel's business colleagues demanded an independent audit of the investments after Madoff's December arrest. Madoff has not entered a plea.