Stephen Walsh, who swindled more than $500 million from his investors, has been released from federal prison after serving only a little more than 5 years of his 20 year sentence. According to Bloomberg, the former WG Trading Co. money manager was charged in 2009 alongside the company’s former general partner, Paul Greenwood. The men used their commodities-trading and investment-advisory firm to steal from institutional investors like university foundations – and even charities – “to fund lavish lifestyles, speculate in real estate and finance other businesses.“
Greenwood pled guilty in 2010 and turned on Walsh, testifying against him. Mark Bloom, who stole more than $20 million from clients and then turned on his ex-colleagues and cooperated with prosecutors, was sentenced to three years in prison.
In April 2014, Walsh pled guilty to securities fraud and agreed to turn over more than $50 million. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Greenwood had his sentence cut in half on appeal and is also scheduled to be released in July. The millionaire had asked to have his sentence reduced initially, claiming “his lawyers were ineffective.”
In April, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska agreed with this appeal and, this week, she reduced his sentence to time served and ordered his release.
According to Newsday, Walsh’s new, far more effective, lawyer said: “The family is driving up now, and if it’s tomorrow it’s still not 20 years from now. I don’t know that he’s planned anything beyond hugging his family for the next couple weeks. He’s just going to try to live his life.”
His lawyer continued: “The judge brought the sentence in line with other cases. People just don’t get 20 years when there’s no loss and they’re not the most culpable person.”
As of Wednesday, Walsh was back with family on Long Island.