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US Judge Finds UK Hedge Fund Adviser Guilty Of Securities Fraud

New York (HedgeCo.net) – New York Judge Robert W. Sweet issued an Opinion in favor of the SEC finding that United Kingdom-based hedge fund adviser Pentagon Capital Management PLC (PCM) and Lewis Chester, PCM’s Chief Executive Officer, engaged in securities fraud in violation of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The SEC filed a civil action in April 2008 against United Kingdom-based hedge fund adviser Pentagon Capital Management PLC (PCM) and its Chief Executive Officer, Lewis Chester.

The complaint alleges that PCM and Chester orchestrated a scheme to defraud mutual funds in the United States and their shareholders through late trading and deceptive market timing. PCM’s advisory client, Pentagon Special Purpose Fund, Ltd., obtained approximately $62 million in illicit profits through this scheme, at the expense of U.S. mutual funds and their shareholders.

Judge Sweet found that Defendants PCM and Chester orchestrated a scheme to defraud mutual funds in the United States through late trading from February 2001 through September 2003.

Late trading refers to the practice of placing orders to buy, redeem, or exchange U.S. mutual fund shares after the time as of which the funds calculate their net asset value (usually as of the close of trading at 4:00 p.m. ET), but receiving the price based on the net asset value already determined as of 4:00 p.m. ET. Judge Sweet found that the Defendants “intentionally, and egregiously violated the federal securities laws through a scheme of late trading” through broker-dealer Trautman Wasserman & Company, Inc. (TW&Co.), and found that the scheme was “broad ranging over the course of several years and in no sense isolated.”

Judge Sweet further found PCM and Chester, together with Relief Defendant Pentagon Special Purpose Fund, Ltd., PCM’s advisory client, jointly and severally liable for disgorgement of $38,416,500 of profits from the U.S. mutual fund trades executed through TW&Co. plus prejudgment interest. Finally, Judge Sweet imposed civil penalties against Defendants in the amount of $38,416,500, equal to Defendants’ pecuniary gain for late trades through TW&Co.

The Court found in Defendants’ favor regarding charges of deceptive market timing of U.S. mutual funds.

Editing by Alex Akesson
For HedgeCo.net
alex@hedgeco.net
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