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Hedge Fund COO Admission in SEC Business Fraud Lawsuit

Whether an attorney, an accountant, or other business professional, this fraud settlement shows that the SEC is holding not only perpetrators responsible for a fraud scheme but also those that enable them.

Hedge fund COO makes admissions in SEC settlement

July 28, 2014. This post first appeared in the California Legal Malpractice blog

The SEC announced that the former Chief Operating Officer at Harbinger Capital Partners LLC has agreed to settle allegations that he assisted a scheme by the firm and its owner to misappropriate millions of dollars from a hedge fund they managed to pay the owner's personal taxes. Court approval of the settlement is pending. In the settlement, the former COO admits that with knowledge of relevant violations, he provided substantial assistance in connection with a loan by failing to:
  • Ensure that the lender (Harbinger Capital Partners Special Situations Fund) had separate counsel.
  • Ensure that the loan was consistent with fiduciary obligations to the Special Situations Fund.
  • Ensure that the owner paid an "above market" interest rate on the loan.
  • Timely disclose the loan to investors.
  • Take actions to cause the lender to accelerate the owners payment on the loan once investors in the Special Situations Fund were permitted to begin redeeming their investments.
The SEC stated "This settlement shows that we hold accountable not only those who perpetrate a scheme, but also those who enable them."
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