The U.S. District Court in Manhattan ordered T. Boone Pickens’ son Michael O. Pickens, 53, to pay $1.2 million in restitution he swindled from investors by sending them fictitious tips on thinly traded stocks in handwritten faxes, in order to illegally pump up their prices, Reuters reports. The younger Pickens, whose penalty was paid by his father, was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to participate in a substance-abuse program. The scheme only netted Michael Pickens $300,000 in profits, however.
Michael Pickens, who began abusing alcohol and drugs since age 13, has already spent the past 17 months at a treatment facility and pleaded guilty in October 2006, which evidently swayed the judge to spare him prison tie.
“Because of Mike’s courageous efforts in treatment and because I wanted to clear our family’s name by making the victims whole, I have made full restitution on behalf of Mike,” said T. Boone Pickens, who runs the BP Capital energy-focused hedge fund. “I am thankful that it has forced Mike to truly confront his demons for the first time in his life.”