The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a securities fraud complaint accusing Juno Mother Earth Asset Management LLC and its founders Arturo Rodriguez and Eugenio Verzilli of looting over $1.8 million in assets from a hedge fund.
The two hedge fund managers allegedly used the assets to cover Juno’s operating expenses, including rent, payroll, entertainment, and travel. They also are accused of submitting false SEC filings, including telling the SEC that it managed $40 million more than what it in fact did.
The SEC says that Juno’s partners falsely claimed that they had placed $3 million of their own capital in a client fund, when in fact, they never used their own money. In addition to selling securities in client brokerage and commodity accounts, Juno allegedly directed 41 separate transfers of cash to Juno’s bank account and made false claims that they were expense reimbursements for costs incurred on the client fund’s behalf. Rodriguez and Verzilli then issued false promissory notes to cover up the fraud and make it seem as if the fund had invested money in Juno.
The SEC further contends that the three defendants marketed investments in the Juno fund but did not reveal that the hedge fund advisor was having financial problems. When offering and selling the securities, Juno would misrepresent and inflate its assets, even claiming at one point that it was managing up to $200 million.
The government is trying to crack down on hedge fund managers who make it appear as if they’ve invested more personal money than what they’ve actually put in. The agency is seeking disgorgement plus prejudgment interests, permanent injunctions, and civil monetary penalties.
Related Web Resources:
SEC Charges Two Hedge-Fund Managers, The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2011
Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)
More Blog Posts:
Trueblue Strategies LLC Owner Settles SEC Charges that He Hid Investor Trading Losses in Hedge Fund Case, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December 18, 2010
3 Hedge Funds Raided by FBI in Insider Trading Case, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 3, 2010