NEW YORK — A New York City hedge fund manager who grew up in Portland and served on Cheverus High School’s board of trustees was sentenced to six years in prison and fined $5 million Monday for his involvement in an insider-trading scheme that illegally netted nearly $70 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Anthony Chiasson, 39, the former manager and co-founder of Level Global Investors LP, was convicted in December for securities fraud. His attorney, Gregory Morvillo, said Monday that he plans to appeal the conviction.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wrote, “Anthony Chiasson chose to be part of a corrupt circle of friends that cheated the market to gain an unfair trading advantage, and for that, he lost his career, his reputation and now he has lost his liberty.”
Court documents filed by Morvillo before the sentencing portray Chiasson as a hard-working, generous family man who excelled as a student at Cheverus, where he was president of the National Honor Society and graduated seventh in his class.
Chiasson donated millions of dollars to charity, set up college trusts for his brother’s children, befriended his doormen and called his mother in Maine almost every day, the letter writers said.
The Rev. William Campbell, Cheverus High School’s president, wrote about Chiasson’s significant contribution as a member of the Jesuit school’s board of trustees, on which he served from June 2009 to January 2012.
The youngest member of the board by 20 years, he came to Maine three times a year to attend board meetings. He helped create a five-year plan to stabilize the school’s finances when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland was considering closing it, court documents said.
According to Campbell’s letter, Chiasson offered to resign from the board after the FBI raided Level Global Investors in 2010, to spare the school any embarrassment.
Campbell refused to accept the resignation, he wrote, because he and other board members thought “so highly of Anthony that we wanted to retain his counsel for as long as we could.”
Once Chiasson was charged, he stepped down from the board.
Chiasson was among seven analysts and fund managers who were arrested on charges stemming from a scheme that involved trading on inside tips from employees at Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. in 2008 and 2009.
All but Chiasson and Todd Newman, a former portfolio manager for Diamondback Capital Management, pleaded guilty to fraud.
Newman, who was convicted in December, was sentenced May 2 to four years in prison.
Chiasson was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan.
Chiasson grew up the youngest of four children raised in Portland by Lucille Chiasson, who got divorced from his father when he was 6. He served as an altar boy, attended St. Joseph’s parochial school and helped his grandparents take care of several properties they owned.
At Cheverus, “he received a blueprint for how to live his life,” court documents say.
He was chosen by the faculty as the sole student speaker in an awards ceremony before his graduation.
His success continued at Babson College in Massachusetts, where he led a freshman orientation program, served on the college’s judicial board, graduated summa cum laude and was named “top senior” for his academic achievement and contributions to the college community.
Chiasson set up a scholarship program for Babson students from Maine who need financial aid, and contributed $20,000 per student.
He also served on the college’s board of trustees.
Chiasson was given 90 days to report to prison, but Morvillo, his lawyer, hopes to keep him free on bail during the appeal process.
“This is just the end of round one,” Morvillo said Monday.
Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: