A San Francisco man allegedly infiltrated the rarified world of Wall Street banking by impersonating a pair of famous tech entrepreneurs, according to an indictment announced in Manhattan's district court this week.
Arun Ganguly, 37, allegedly sent investors hundreds of emails in which he pretended to be Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twin brothers and Olympic rowers whose famous feud with Mark Zuckerberg over ownership of Facebook was depicted in the film “The Social Network.”
Ganguly also impersonated the twins’ father, Howard Winklevoss, and other tech heavyweights, according to the indictment.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said in a statement that “the masquerade has come to an end.”
“The lengths to which the defendant is alleged to have gone to represent himself as a well-connected power player are truly astounding,” he said.
Ganguly wasn’t just curious about what life is like for the 1 percent. He adopted the phony personas to make money, according to the indictment.
The alleged deceptions began in 2012, after Ganguly’s contract as a consultant to a New York investment firm expired. In an attempt to convince the firm to rehire him, Ganguly at first allegedly claimed to be close friends with the Winklevoss brothers and with Divya Narenda, another Harvard graduate associated with the founding of Facebook. He told the managing director of the firm, identified by Reuters as Carl Kleidman, then of Vision Capital, that he could get the brothers to invest millions in Kleidman’s private equity fund.
Eventually he began sending emails and signing documents as the Winklevoss twins themselves, according to the indictment. The firm paid him more than $25,000 in fees.
Ganguly has pleaded not guilty to 52 counts of identify theft, among other charges. His lawyer, Vinoo Varghese, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tyler Meade, a lawyer representing Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, told HuffPost that the twins first discovered evidence of a scam six months ago. “They immediately brought in an investigative team, turned over their findings to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and have worked closely with them ever since," he said.
In "The Social Network,” actor Armie Hammer received acclaim for his portrayal of both Winklevoss brothers. He may not have been the last to attempt the feat.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story mistakenly identified Tyler Winklevoss as Travis.