Dan Kamensky, the Marble Ridge Capital founder who was arrested last September for his role in an alleged bid-rigging scheme connected to the bankruptcy proceedings of luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, has pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud in federal court in Manhattan.
Kamensky, a member of the retailer’s unsecured creditors’ committee, had earlier landed in hot water over his alleged attempts to suppress a rival bid for Neiman Marcus’s MyTheresa e-commerce business so that Marble Ridge could buy the asset at a lower price. Kamensky then attempted to persuade the rival bidder to cover up the scheme, prosecutors for the Department of Justice’s Southern District of New York said at the time of his arrest.
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Kamensky founded Marble Ridge, a distressed debt hedge fund that at one time managed more than $1 billion, in 2016, following a successful career at Paulson & Co. and stints at Lehman Brothers and as a bankruptcy attorney.
“Daniel Kamensky abused his position as a committee member in the Neiman Marcus Bankruptcy to corrupt the process for distributing assets and take extra profits for himself and his hedge fund,” said U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement. “Kamensky predicted in his own words to a colleague: ‘Do you understand…I can go to jail?’… ‘this is going to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.’ His fraud has indeed come to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and now has been revealed in open court.”
“Mr. Kamensky has admitted what he did was wrong,” said his defense attorney, Joon Kim of law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, in a statement. “He deeply regrets his conduct on July 31, 2020 and the great pain it has caused his family, colleagues and others.”
The bankruptcy fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to the Justice Department. Robert Siegfried, a spokesperson for Kamensky, said that according to the plea agreement between the government and Kamensky, the applicable sentencing guidelines range is 12 to 18 months.
Sentencing has been scheduled for May 7.