A Greenwich mortgage broker admitted that she helped her college-age son recruit investors in a multimillion-dollar hedge fund scam but said she really believed he was a savvy money manager.
Ayferafet Yalincak, 51, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a charge that could send her to prison for up to five years. Her 22-year-old son, Hakan, has pleaded guilty to bank fraud and wire fraud and faces up to 50 years in prison for managing the scheme.
Yalincak told a federal judge that she attended meetings with investors and allowed her son, a former New York University student, to present her as a member of a wealthy Turkish family who was going to invest millions in his hedge fund. Prosecutors said the scheme cost investors millions.
“I went along and did nothing to correct it,” she said Thursday. “My uncle had some wealth, but nothing like the enormous wealth Hakan and his partner were describing.”
The fund did not exist and prosecutors said investor money was used to buy a Porsche, a Tiffany diamond and other jewelry. The Pound Ridge, N.Y., family also gave $1.25 million of investor money as a down payment on a $21 million donation to NYU.
The family charmed their way into Greenwich’s cloistered world of high finance, prosecutors said. They met with businessmen over dinner and Hakan wowed them with his investment strategies, but prosecutors said his financial documents were fraudulent.
Ayferafet Yalincak will be sentenced Oct. 2. Hakan will be sentenced Sept. 19. Following their sentences, both face possible deportation to Turkey.