Andrew Caspersen will likely plead guilty to losing $150 million, in a series of investments that have more in common with gambling than investing. The actual crime he is being charged with is fraud.
Caspersen has told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff he has been treated for “compulsive gambling and related mental health” issues. This issue can affect anyone – at 39, Caspersen is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, yet his actions were not even close to lucid or well considered. In betting that the Standard & Poor’s 500 would fall, he suffered losses making “casino-like” wagers on one-week “put” options, that are quite “volatile”.
Paul Shechtman, the attorney for Andrew Caspersen, put it best. “People say, it’s Wall Street greed. There’s no greed here. There is a pathological gambling addiction so that no matter what he thought at the end of the day, he bet it all.”
Caspersen lost $20 million of his own money in the $150 million.