updated 5/11/2009 6:38:56 PM ET 2009-05-11T22:38:56

A prominent Manhattan lawyer has pleaded guilty to defrauding hedge funds of more than $400 million.

Fifty-eight-year-old Marc Dreier on Monday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The charges carry a potential prison term of 30 years to life in prison.

Dreier headed his own firm, Dreier LLP, with 250 attorneys.

He was first arrested in Canada on impersonation charges after hedge funds complained he was stealing from them. Freed in Canada on bail, he flew to New York City, where he was arrested by federal authorities at the airport.

Authorities say Dreier received $670 million between 2004 and 2008 from the sale of fictitious securities.

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