Daniel Kamensky, founder and former manager of New York-based hedge fund Marble Ridge Capital, has been sentenced to six months in prison for bankruptcy fraud, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office in the southern district of New York.
The sentence, which came on Friday in a Manhattan federal court, comes after Kamensky was charged for “engaging in fraud and extortion to pressure a rival bidder to abandon its higher bid for assets in connection with Neiman Marcus’s bankruptcy proceedings so that Marble Ridge could obtain those assets for a lower price,” according to the statement.
Kamenksy was arrested for his role in the alleged scheme in September 2020 and pled guilty to the charge in February. In addition to his prison time, Kamensky was sentenced to six months of supervised release on home confinement and ordered to pay a fine of $55,000.
“Daniel Kamensky committed bankruptcy fraud – undermining the integrity of bankruptcy proceedings and violating his fiduciary responsibility – in an effort to take extra profits for himself and his hedge fund,” Audrey Strauss, U.S. district attorney, said in the statement. “As he himself predicted, this fraud has now landed Daniel Kamensky in prison.”
The Neiman Marcus Bidding War
In May 2020, the luxury retail chain Nieman Marcus filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Kamensky, a former bankruptcy attorney who worked at Lehman Brothers and Paulson & Co. before starting Marble Ridge in 2016, applied and was appointed to be a member of the retailer’s unsecured creditors’ committee at the onset of the bankruptcy.
During the bankruptcy process, the creditors’ committee negotiated with the owners of Neiman Marcus to obtain certain securities, known as MyTheresa Series B Shares, according to the district attorney’s statement. The committee was eventually able to come to a settlement to obtain 140 million shares of MYT securities “for the benefit of certain unsecured creditors of the bankruptcy estate.”