AP NEWS

Ex-executive at bankrupt private equity firm pleads guilty

June 28, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — A former executive at the bankrupt private equity firm Abraaj Group has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in New York.

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood entered the plea Friday in Manhattan federal court. Wadood is an Egyptian national who has been under house arrest in New York since being granted bail in April.

Prosecutors say he joined other executives to fraudulently boost the value of the firm’s investments by over $500 million.

They say he coaxed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. government to invest in feel-good projects.

Wadood pleaded guilty to six charges including conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud. Although the charges carry a potential penalty of 124 years in prison, a magistrate judge indicated that he is cooperating and could win leniency at sentencing.

Wadood said he regretted his involvement in the fraud “more than anyone could imagine.”

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