Ex-Fred Leighton Owner Gets 6 Years For $20M Fraud

Law360, New York (July 22, 2011, 6:21 PM EDT) -- A New York federal judge on Friday sentenced former Fred Leighton Holdings Inc. owner Ralph Esmerian to 72 months in prison for misleading a bankruptcy court and defrauding creditor Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. of $20 million as his business collapsed.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said that for the three years before his arrest, Esmerian, a jewelry dealer and New York art patron, “lived a life of fraud and deceit on a massive scale.”

Despite that rebuke, she stopped short of sending the 71-year-old to...
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