Mini-Madoff Due in Court

Accused of bilking investors of up to $350 million

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010  |  Updated 11:32 AM EDT
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Bernard Madoff & His Victims

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Arthur Nadel is accused of bilking investors of up to $350 million.

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A Florida hedge fund manager accused of bilking investors of up to $350 million has been scheduled to go before a federal judge in New York City.

Lawyers for Arthur Nadel had been negotiating a plea bargain with prosecutors and had said earlier this month that it was "very likely" his case would be resolved within weeks.

The 77-year-old grabbed headlines last winter when he disappeared as investigators scrutinized his company.

He traveled the country for two weeks, but occasionally wrote his family worrying that he would be labeled a "mini-Madoff."

He also urged his wife to "Sell the Subaru if you need money."

Prosecutors say Nadel defrauded hundreds of investors by falsely claiming he was a successful stock trader, while spending their money on his lavish lifestyle. Also, federal regulators said he overstated the value of investments in six funds by about $300 million.

The investigation came on the heels of two other high-profile financial fraud cases. Investigators say Wall Street's Bernard Madoff cost investors some $50 billion in what may be the largest Ponzi scheme in history. And Indiana money manager Marcus Schrenker was apprehended in Florida after allegedly trying to stage his death in a plane crash as investigators probed his businesses.

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