Financier gets probation for bribing state pension official

A former financier who lavished gifts on a state pension official to get business pushed her way has evaded prison and will serve five years’ probation instead.

Deborah Kelley, 59, will spend six months of that term in home confinement, Manhattan Federal Judge J. Paul Oetken ruled Friday. She also must pay a $50,000 fine and complete 1,000 hours of community service.

Kelly had faced up to five years in federal lockup.

She pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and honest services wire fraud for gifting two trips worth some $19,000 to onetime pension fund manager Navnoor Kang.

NYC financier admits to bribing state pension official with gifts

Prosecutors said the former Stern Agee & Leach managing director footed the bill for these jaunts to New Orleans and Park City, Utah, so Kang would steer money to her brokerage.

“It was the worst decision of my life,” Kelley tearfully said at her sentencing. “I made a horrible and disastrous mistake that has ruined everything I worked for.”

The one time pension fund manager Navnoor Kang (pictured) received gifts worth thousands of dollars from former financier 59-year-old Deborah Kelley.

(Alec Tabak/for New York Daily News)

While Oetken said Kelley’s crime was a “serious offense,” he was struck by her past community service and the more than 100 letters of support for her — saying in court papers that “rarely have I seen so many” support letters for a defendant.

“There’s no question in my mind Ms. Kelley is a good person,” Oetken said before handing down the sentence. “She has clearly suffered a great deal as a result of this prosecution.”

Ex-state pension official pleads not guilty to taking bribes

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

Kang also was paid off — in hookers and cocaine — by Gregg Schonhorn, an ex-vice president of FTN Financial Services Group, prosecutors said. Schonhorn pleaded guilty to related charges for his role in the separate scheme.

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