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The head of a U.S. private equity fund who fraudulently raised capital for his fund through a series of forged documents has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

After pleading guilty to federal charges, Elliot Smerling was sentenced to 97 months in prison plus three years of supervised release for orchestrating a fraudulent scheme to secure financing for a series of private equity funds.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), the scheme caused banks to issue approximately US$133 million in collateralized loans that were based on “forged documents, including subscription agreements from purported limited partners, audit letters attesting to his private equity firm’s finances, and falsified bank account statements.”

The court deferred its decision on the amount of restitution that would be ordered in the case.

“Elliot Smerling previously admitted to securing funding for his private equity fund by submitting a constellation of fraudulent documents and assurances to lenders,” said U.S. attorney, Damian Williams, in a release.

“Smerling’s misrepresentations ultimately resulted in massive losses to banks, as he received over $133 million in ill-gotten loans,” he said.