Steven H. Adler is going to pay for cheating his mutual fund clients - and not just from his wallet. The U. S. District Court in Tampa., Fla., has sentenced the 64-year-old Floridian to five years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $900,000 in restitution to his victims for wire and mail fraud.

While president of Vector Index Advisors and manager of the ASM Index 30 Fund, Adler occasionally used client deposits intended for the mutual fund either for himself or for the company. He liquidated some assets from the portfolio for the same purpose.

In March of 1997, Adler was quoted in Plan Sponsor as saying, "You have to pretend you are a big fund to compete with [Vanguard]. We are hoping it causes a stir. That is our business bet." In the meantime, in a local report, Adler said he borrowed investors' money to cover his fund's subsidized expenses.

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