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A prominent lawyer trained at Harvard and Yale universities who admitted defrauding hedge funds of more than $400 million should be sentenced to 145 years in prison, prosecutors told a judge Wednesday.

Prosecutors cited the privileged education and his comfortable upbringing as they urged the maximum sentence for 59-year-old Marc Dreier. His lawyer, Gerald Shargel, said a sentence of between 10 and 12 1/2 years in prison was appropriate.

"Dreier could have pursued a rewarding and productive life as a lawyer, serving clients and the law, with compensation in the top few percent of the general population," prosecutors said in papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

"Instead, Dreier decided to seek vast personal riches and prestige through a life of fraud and through dishonor to his profession," they wrote.

In a letter to the judge dated Tuesday and filed with the court Wednesday, Dreier said he suffers "every day from the shame and self-loathing and regret with which I will always have to live."

He said his crimes were inexcusable.

"I expect and deserve a significant prison sentence," he wrote. He said he asked his lawyers to file his letter in the public record "in the hope that it may do some good as a warning to others not to follow in my path."

He said he has lost all his friends, his law firm, his law license and all he ever owned, along with causing unimaginable suffering to his family, including his 19-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter.

"I will always be remembered as a thief," Dreier wrote. "I have lost my past and my future. I have lost everything a man can lose. And now I will lose my freedom as well, and rightly so."


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