An ex-executive at a New York investment bank has admitted to defrauding investors of more than $38 million, blaming it on his gambling addiction.

Andrew Caspersen pleaded guilty to securities and wire fraud on Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors say he scammed clients of PJT Partners Inc. into investing millions of dollars in sham private equity investments. They say he invented fictional financiers, created fake email addresses and arranged misleading domain names to carry out his fraud from last July through March.

The 39-year-old Ivy League graduate is the son of the late Finn M.W. Caspersen, a prominent philanthropist and former chief executive of the financial services firm Beneficial Corp.

Caspersen faces up to 40 years in prison when he's sentenced in November.