NEW YORK — A man who posed as a board member of Gucci Group NV pled guilty on Monday in a Manhattan federal court to charges of defrauding an investor into buying $7 million worth of fake Gucci stock options. According to legal documents, Timothy Khan was charged with allegedly telling an unnamed investor in 1995 that he was on Gucci’s advisory board and was working on a deal with the company’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer that allowed him to purchase Gucci stock at a discounted price from the company’s initial public offering. Gucci’s IPO was $22; Khan offered the victim millions of shares priced between $7.50 and $14 per share. He claimed to have been put on the Gucci board to help turn the company around and market its products to the Middle East. Between 1995 and 2006 the investor wired approximately $7.3 million to Khan as payment for the fake options, according to court documents. Khan was arrested in Los Angeles last April and charged. He has been detained since his arrest. A Gucci representative confirmed that Khan had no association with the company, and both the executives he allegedly knew have said they did not know him and never offered him stock options. Khan pled guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the offenses he pled guilty to, and a fine of as much as $5 million.
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