Angry federal judge gives NY biotech financier 4 years in prison for stock scheme

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A federal judge in New York City displayed anger as she handed down a four-year prison sentence to a biotechnology financier who was once among the nation’s wealthiest people.

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon repeatedly scolded David Blech (blehk) Thursday while imposing the prison term and $1.3 million forfeiture. When he asked for leniency, she told Blech he’d gotten “all the mercy you’re going to get.”

The judge called Blech a “serial stock manipulator.” He engaged in the same scheme in 2007 and 2008 as he had 20 years earlier. In that instance, he co-operated with the government and received probation rather than jail time.

His fall from prosperity came in the spring of 1994 when the value of biotechnology stocks collapsed.

Blech was told to report to prison in August.