Anthony Davian, a once-prolific presence on social media who held himself out as a iconoclastic hedge fund manager prior to his August 2013 indictment on a series of fraud charges, was sentenced several hours ago in a Cleveland courtroom to four years and nine months in federal prison.
Federal Judge Patricia Gaughan of Ohio’s Northern District court also ordered Davian to make restitution of approximately $1.8 million to his defrauded investors and serve three years of probation after his release. Should Davian waive his right to appeal, he is slated to report to prison in late December or early January, pending his recovery from a recent foot surgery.
According to a pre-sentencing guideline that federal prosecutors filed on Nov. 18, they sought a 60-month sentence (and full restitution) for Davian based on an investigation they claimed showed Davian had never sought to manage money, but only to raise investor capital to fund personal and business expenses, including paying off an office lease and attorney fees.
A once forceful presence on what is now broadly known as “Finance Twitter,” Davian’s signature remark was “Ching!” (after a trade he had been discussing allegedly turned profitable for his portfolio). He was the subject of a July 2013 Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation investigation that raised doubts about his performance and whether he was even managing the several hundred million dollars he then publicly claimed.
In the weeks after the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation’s report was released, lawyers from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice filed claims in federal court to shut down Davian’s portfolios and seize assets. Apart from an expensive Audi and a Bath, Ohio, property where Davian sought to build a mansion, there was apparently little for government lawyers to seize.
In the courtroom, according to notes given to the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation by someone present in the courtroom who asked not to be identified because he sought “to put this behind me,” Davian’s wife and mother made statements that sought mercy from Judge Gaughan before the sentence was entered. His mother discussed what she argued was Davian’s long history of mental illness; his wife said that all of their children had substantive medical issues that were “drowning them in medical expenses.”
Davian’s attorney, Paul Adamson of Akron’s Burdon & Merlitti, was unavailable to comment to the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation prior to this article’s publication, according to a colleague answering his phone.