Charged by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection with bulldozing an acre of parkland near his Bergen County home, hedge fund manager Andrew Krieger agreed to a deal on March 23 to avoid jail time. He will pay $2 million to the PIPC and plead guilty to a reduced charge of criminal mischief.
Mr. Krieger is president and chief executive officer of statistical arbitrage hedge fund manager NorthBridge Capital Management Inc., Edgewater, N.J.
In a statement, Department of Environmental Protection officials said Mr. Krieger proposed a land exchange to the agency in February 2002 so he could develop the property near his estate, a process he "opted not to pursue. In the following three months, (Mr.) Krieger and his employees cleared more than one acre of parkland and illegally stored construction materials on state and county property." the statement said.
"Time finally ran out for the tycoon tree terminator," said Jim Hall, superintendent of PIPC, in the statement.
When asked to comment, Mr. Krieger responded by e-mail: "I have admitted to a fourth-degree criminal mischief charge for damaging property having a value of less than $2,000. I categorically deny the outlandish allegations involving the cutting of trees and destruction of parkland for the purpose of building a tennis court. I have also resolved the civil litigation ... I made a pragmatic decision to amicably settle the matter so as to avoid the enormous costs of time and money required to take these matters to trial."