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UK fund manager settles US market-timing case

Houston Chronicle – A London-based hedge fund manager and its chief investment officer have agreed to a nearly $18 million settlement resolving U.S. regulators’ allegations that one of its funds defrauded U.S. mutual funds and investors through trading practices such as market-timing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and Headstart Advisers Ltd. on Monday separately announced a settlement in which the firm neither admitted nor denied allegations covering the period September 1998 through September 2003.

Headstart Fund Ltd., a hedge fund that had been incorporated in the Bahamas and is now defunct, will pay a $17 million penalty to resolve a complaint the SEC brought in April 2008. London-based Headstart Advisers will pay an additional $200,000, and Chief Investment Officer Najy N. Nasser will pay $600,000. The firm and Nasser are also barred from future violations of antifraud provisions of U.S. securities laws.

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