NEW YORK – A one-time corporate lawyer who cheated friends and relatives of life savings in a Ponzi scheme and then tried to kill himself has been sentenced in New York to five years in prison.
Charles Bennett was sentenced Thursday. His crime was revealed when he wrote a long suicide note and jumped into the Hudson River in a 2014 suicide attempt. Rescuers saved him.
A U.S. District Court judge gave Bennett a sentence at the high end of federal sentencing guidelines. She announced it after hearing several of the 58-year-old's friends describe giving hundreds of thousands of dollars for a supposedly safe investment.
Bennett tearfully apologized, saying he's a thief and a liar. He says he's back "literally from the dead" after being pulled from the water and resuscitated. He later pleaded guilty to securities fraud.