West Palm Beach (HedgeCo.net) – The SEC has frozen the assets of a Connecticut-based hedge fund manager, alleging that he forged documents, promised false returns, and misrepresented assets managed by the funds to illicitly raise more than $30 million from investors.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Francesco Rusciano solicited investments for two hedge funds he controls, Ponta Negra Fund I, LLC and Ponta Negra Offshore Fund I, LTD, which is the principal of Ponta Negra Group, LLC, located at his residence in Stamford, Conn.
The hedge fund manager also sent out an e-mail to investors saying that his Ponta Negra hedge funds had $59 million in assets under management as of February 2009. According to the SEC’s complaint, the hedge funds had less than $10 million.
The SEC says that Rusciano forged brokerage account statements to make it appear that another hedge fund account had more than $43 million in assets, when it had less than $3 million.
"Rusciano went to great lengths to deceive investors, and the SEC is committed to ensuring that money managers who provide inaccurate information to investors and fail to uphold their fiduciary duties are held responsible for their misconduct," said Rose Romero, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office.
The SEC’s investigation is continuing.