Giridhar C. Sekhar was sentenced to 15 months in prison for attempting to blackmail the chief counsel of the $147 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, into directing management of a $35 million investment to Mr. Sekhar’s FA Technology Ventures, a venture capital and private equity firm.
Mr. Sekhar was convicted in April of one count of attempted extortion and five counts of interstate transmission of extortionate threat, according to a news release Tuesday from the Albany division of the FBI. He also was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy to pay a $600 fine and begin serving his sentence immediately.
From Nov. 17, 2009, to Dec. 1, 2009, Mr. Sekhar, a managing partner at FA Technology Ventures, sent e-mails to Luke Bierman, the pension fund’s chief counsel, threatening to reveal an alleged extramarital affair unless he recommended that New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the pension fund’s sole trustee, choose his company for the investment.
The investment would have earned Mr. Sekhar’s company about $8 million in fees, according to the FBI release.
Neither of Mr. Sekhar’s attorneys, William Dreyer and Kimberly Zimmer, nor a representative of FA Technology Ventures could be reached for comment.