Chapman Gets Jail Time, $5M Fine in Pension Fraud Case

November 1, 2004 ( - A former Maryland state pension fund manager was slapped with a 7 ½-year prison sentence and ordered to pay $5 million restitution after being convicted of fraud against the state pension system and of looting his investment management firm.

During his sentencing hearing, Nathan Chapman Jr., a 46-year-old investment banker, told US District Judge William Quarles that he had never been in trouble before and never expected to end up in court. “With this crucifixion, there will be resurrection,” Chapman told Quarles.

In August, a jury found Chapman guilty of 23 counts including mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and other crimes relating to his use of state retirement system funds to revive the stock price of his sagging company, the Associated Press reported (See  Chapman Jurors Convict on 23 of 32 Charges ).

At one point, he managed more than $100 million for the Maryland retirement system. He managed funds from 1996 until its trustees fired him in January 2002. The $29 billion system, which is responsible for the pensions of more than 250,000 teachers, police officers, firefighters and other government workers, lost nearly $5 million in the transactions.

Prosecutors further alleged that Chapman had ripped off his companies by using “business development” checks, partly to pay for affairs with several women. The prosecutors used trading records during the trial to bolster their charge that Chapman pressured Alan Bond, who later pleaded guilty to swindling other clients, to use Maryland pension funds to buy stock in a Chapman company for more than it was worth.