Bogus Belgian blue-blood is headed behind bars
A bogus Belgian blue-blood who swindled friends and acquaintances out of $7 million is heading to prison for at least three years after pleaded guilty to his big-money Ponzi scheme today.
Guy De Chimay, 47 -- whose good suits and good looks give him the appearance of having just stepped out of a board meeting instead of a Riker's cell -- admitted he lied to victims about his assets, his connections to the Belgian royal family, and an imaginary investment fund he promised sky-high returns on.
"I did not have the intention or ability to return the investors' money," he told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro, in pleading guilty to first degree grand larceny and related crimes.
The dashing swindler told victims he was a member of the Chimay royal family of Belgium, with access to "family money" totaling more than $200 million.
And though he wasn't royalty -- De Chimay was actually born in Canada -- he lived royally while the scheme lasted, catching up on his credit cards, footing the bill on his divorce settlement, renting a summer home in the Hamptons, and paying off previous investors to keep his massive Ponzi scheme afloat, prosecutors said.