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Kareem Serageldin ’94:
'worst day of my life'

"This is the worst day of my life," Kareem Serageldin ’94 told a federal judge. "I am terribly sorry for what I have done."

Serageldin, a "former top executive at the Credit Suisse Group," was facing US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein and a possible five-year sentence for "inflating the value of mortgage bonds," the New York Times reports. But the judge "showed mercy" at the November 22 court proceeding, sentencing Serageldin to 30 months.

The sentence makes Serageldin "one of the most senior Wall Street officials to serve time for criminal conduct during the financial crisis," the Times says.

The son of Egyptian immigrants, Serageldin "joined Credit Suisse out of Yale University and rose swiftly through the ranks," the Times reports. His background and his employment at a bank with what Hellerstein called an "overall evil climate" seem to have drawn the judge's sympathy:

In an unusual moment during the hearing, Judge Hellerstein allowed Mr. Serageldin’s mother to speak about her son. Holding back tears, she told the judge her son had always worked hard to make the family proud. “Please see him in the context of his whole life history,” she told the judge, who commiserated with Ms. Serageldin by telling her that he, too, was the child of immigrants. “Whatever sentence he serves, I will serve.”

The judge asked Mr. Serageldin’s lawyer to explain his client’s misconduct. “This is a deepening mystery in my work,” the judge said. “Why do so many good people do bad things?”

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