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Hedge Funds To Pay $14 Million to Settle SEC Market Manipulation Charges

SECNew York (HedgeCo.Net) – In one of the largest crackdowns in the industry, the SEC has taken legal action against 23 firms and hedge fund managers for short selling violations. The funds agreed to pay $14.4 million to settle the market manipulation charges, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The benchmark of an effective enforcement program is zero tolerance for any securities law violations, including violations that do not require manipulative intent,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Through this new program of streamlined investigations and resolutions of Rule 105 violations, we are sending the clear message that firms must pay the price for violations while also conserving agency resources.”

The SEC charged the following firms in this series of settled enforcement actions:

Blackthorn Investment Group – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $244,378.24, prejudgment interest of $15,829.74, and a penalty of $260,000.00.
Claritas Investments Ltd. – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $73,883.00, prejudgment interest of $5,936.67, and a penalty of $65,000.00.
Credentia Group – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $4,091.00, prejudgment interest of $113.38, and a penalty of $65,000.00.
D.E. Shaw & Co. – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $447,794.00, prejudgment interest of $18,192.37, and a penalty of $201,506.00.
Deerfield Management Company – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $1,273,707.00, prejudgment interest of $19,035.00, and a penalty of $609,482.00.
Hudson Bay Capital Management – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $665,674.96, prejudgment interest of $11,661.31, and a penalty of $272,118.00.
JGP Global Gestão de Recursos – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $2,537,114.00, prejudgment interest of $129,310.00, and a penalty of $514,000.00.
M.S. Junior, Swiss Capital Holdings, and Michael A. Stango – Agreed to collectively pay disgorgement of $247,039.00, prejudgment interest of $15,565.77, and a penalty of $165,332.00.
Manikay Partners – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $1,657,000.00, prejudgment interest of $214,841.31, and a penalty of $679,950.00.
Meru Capital Group – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $262,616.00, prejudgment interest of $4,600.51, and a penalty of $131,296.98.00.
Merus Capital Partners – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $8,402.00, prejudgment interest of $63.65, and a penalty of $65,000.00.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $144,898.00, prejudgment interest of $11,642.90, and a penalty of $68,295.
Pan Capital AB – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $424,593.00, prejudgment interest of $17,249.80, and a penalty of $220,655.00.
PEAK6 Capital Management – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $58,321.00, prejudgment interest of $8,896.89, and a penalty of $65,000.00.
Philadelphia Financial Management of San Francisco – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $137,524.38, prejudgment interest of $16,919.26, and a penalty of $65,000.00.
Polo Capital International Gestão de Recursos a/k/a Polo Capital Management – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $191,833.00, prejudgment interest of $14,887.51, and a penalty of $76,000.00.
Soundpost Partners – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $45,135.00, prejudgment interest of $3,180.85, and a penalty of $65,000.00.
Southpoint Capital Advisors – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $346,568.00, prejudgment interest of $17,695.76, and a penalty of $170,494.00.
Talkot Capital – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $17,640.00, prejudgment interest of $1,897.68, and a penalty of $65,000.00.
Vollero Beach Capital Partners – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $594,292, prejudgment interest of $55.171, and a penalty of $214,964.
War Chest Capital Partners – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $187,036.17, prejudgment interest of $10,533.18, and a penalty of $130,000.00.
Western Standard – Agreed to pay disgorgement of $44,980.30, prejudgment interest of $1,827.40, and a penalty of $65,000.00.

“Twenty-two of the firms have agreed to settle the civil charges, though they did not admit or deny wrongdoing. G-2 Trading is fighting the charges.” The Wall Street Journal reported.

The SEC’s Rule 105 of Regulation M prohibits the short sale of an equity security during a restricted period – generally five business days before a public offering – and the purchase of that same security through the offering. The firms charged in these cases allegedly bought offered shares from an underwriter, broker, or dealer participating in a follow-on public offering after having sold short the same security during the restricted period.

Alex Akesson
Editor for HedgeCo.net
alex@hedgeco.net
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