CNBC Pundit Brian Kim Suspected in $4 Mill Ponzi Scheme, Says Report

Brian Kim
CNBC Financial Analyst Brian Kim Suspected in $4 Mil Ponzi Scheme, On Run Says Report
Brian Kim

(CBS) New York authorities have yet to catch up with CNBC analyst and New York hedge-fund operator, Brian Kim, who is reportedly at the center of a $4 million Ponzi scheme, and apparently laying low.

The 35-year-old was indicted on grand larceny and other charges for an alleged fraudulent plan that began eight years ago, in which he swindled at least 45 West Coast investors out money from his Manhattan offices, reports the New York Daily News.

Authorities said Kim has been on the run since January when he failed to appear for a Manhattan trial on a separate theft charge accusing him of stealing $438,000 in 2008 from the Christadora House, an East Village condominium where he lived, states the newspaper.

Kim reportedly used two 2009 appearances on CNBC's financial news show "Squawk Box" to advertise his phony hedge fund, Liquid Capital Management.

According to the Daily News, federal regulators also filed a civil suit against Kim Tuesday, claiming he stole at least $2.1 million from 37 investors in 2009 and 2010.

Kim is accused of funneling most of the stolen cash - nearly all of which was eventually lost to highly risky investments - into several business accounts in an attempt to cover investor losses, reports the newspaper.

Officials say he also created fake "pitch books," falsifying financial statements and telling potential clients he had generated returns of 240% since 2000, according to the Daily News.

Kim allegedly used the money to pay for extravagant shopping sprees, ski vacations, credit card bills, gambling trips to Atlantic City and car payments, officials said.

If convicted, Kim faces up to 25 years in prison.