Bear Stearns Hedge Fund Probe Expands

New York (HedgeCo.Net) – The infamous collapse of the two $1.8 billion Bear Stearns hedge funds that many believe helped spark the credit crisis is still being investigated, and now other banks and individuals are being probed in the process.

According to those familiar with the matter, prosecutors are now looking at the offering memorandum of the funds, a set of documents usually constructed by the legal team that list strategies and other pertinent information, along with investigating the individuals who prepared them.

Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, both hedge fund managers for the now defunct funds, have had criminal charges filed against them in federal court. The two men allegedly defrauded investors in the hedge funds by neglecting to communicate the sharp losses they were experiencing due to their exposure to mortgage backed securities and hefty amounts of leverage. Cioffi was also charged with insider trading.

Investors who experienced losses in the fund have a number of cases against Bear Stearns. Barclays Bank PLC also filed a suit last year after losing approximately $400 million in the funds.

The High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund and the High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund collapsed last summer amidst the subprime mortgage fallout. The funds had sought liquidation in the Cayman Islands, possibly hoping to shield some assets from creditors. That request was denied in U.S. Court.

Julie Scuderi
Senior Editor for HedgeCo.Net

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