EAGLE COUNTY — Money manager and arts patron Alberto Vilar was re-sentenced this past week to 10 years in prison, a year longer than his original sentence.
The sentence was handed down U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan, who had imposed the original sentence in connection with Vilar’s 2008 conviction for fraud and money laundering. Sullivan said a longer term was justified because Vilar had taken steps to prevent victims of his crimes from being repaid. Sullivan also sentenced Gary Tanaka, Vilar’s business partner at the now-defunct Amerindo Investment Advisers Inc, to six years in prison, also a year longer than previously. His attorney, Vivian Shevitz, has said he will appeal his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Back in the Clink
An opera lover and philanthropist, Vilar donated a big chunk of the money for Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center that still carries his name.
Vilar, 73, had served four years of his nine-year sentence before he was freed on $10 million bail. Shevitz lashed out at federal prosecutors and Sullivan, who then revoked Vilar’s bail and sent him back to prison.
Found Guilty of Fraud
Vilar was convicted in 2008 on 12 counts of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors say Vilar bilked up to $40 million from investors. He used at least part of the money for his philanthropic work, court records say.
Those “losses” did not happen, Shevitz said. Shevitz argued that the government froze more than $50 million in 2005 at J.P. Morgan Chase. She said there is more than enough money to repay those victims, but the government won’t release it. She said evidence shows there was no scheme to cause investor losses or that even contemplated losses.
Vilar’s partner, Gary Tanaka, was sentenced to five years and has served two and a half. They were originally ordered to pay almost $35 million in restitution including interest, and to forfeit more than $54 million. Vilar was arrested in May 2005 at the Newark, New Jersey airport.
He has been held at the federal prison at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the largest prison in the U.S. and the closest to Manhattan.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.