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In U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Danish pension funds (and their investment manager) Unipension Fondsmaeglerselskab, MP Pension-Pensionskassen for Magistre & Psykologer, Arkitekternes Pensionskasse, and Pensionskassen for Jordbrugsakademikere & Dyrlaeger are suing 12 banks accusing them of conspiring to take charge of access and pricing in the credit derivatives markets. They are claiming antitrust violations while contending that the defendants acted unreasonably to hold back competitors in the credit default swaps market.

The funds believe that the harm suffered by investors as a result was “tens of billions of dollars” worth. They want monetary damages and injunctive relief.

According to the Danish pension funds’ credit default swaps case, the defendants inflated profits by taking control of intellectual property rights in the CDS market, blocking would-be exchanges’ entry, and limiting client access to credit-default-swaps prices, and

Last month, our stockbroker fraud lawyers reported on a Securities and Exchange Commission order to freeze the assets of Michael Kenwood Capital Management, LLC and its principal Francisco Illarramendi for their alleged misappropriation of $53 million in investor funds. This month, Illarramendi pleaded guilty to securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and investment adviser fraud.

Per the US Department of Justice’s release, a hedge fund that Illarramendi was advising sustained losses in the millions. He had been tasked with investing the money. However, instead of telling clients about their failed investments, the DOJ says that Illarramendi decided to cover up this information by taking part in a securities fraud scam. The hedge funds and other entities that he advised ended up with “outstanding liabilities” far beyond their assets’ values. U.S. Attorney David B. Fein says this securities case this is the largest white-collar prosecution that the office has ever pursued.

Two other men have been detained and criminally charged over their alleged involvement in the hedge fund scam and of aiding Illaramendi. Juan Carlos Horna Napolitano and Juan Carlos Guillen Zerpa are charged with investment adviser fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Meantime, the SEC says it has amended its civil complaint against Illaramendi and MK Capital Management, LLC. The agency is now alleging that the “breadth” of the securities fraud may be in the “hundreds of millions.”

Our institutional investment fraud law firm represents clients in arbitration and litigation with claims against investment advisers, broker-dealers, brokers, and others in the financial industry. We are dedicated to recovering investor losses.

Related Web Resources:
Connecticut Hedge Fund Exec Admits Guilt In Ponzi Scheme, WIBW, March 7, 2011

Hedge fund mgr pleads guilty over Ponzi scheme, Reuters, March 7, 2011

Order to Freeze Assets in $53M Fund Fraud Allegedly Involving Michael Kenwood Asset Management LLC Obtained by SEC, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 21, 2011

Connecticut Hedge Fund Adviser Admits Running Massive Ponzi Scheme, Justice.gov, March 7, 2011

SEC adds new charges Connecticut-based hedge fund manager in Ponzi scheme, SEC, March 7, 2011

Continue Reading ›

The SEC has obtained an order to freeze the assets of investment adviser Michael Kenwood Capital Management LLC and firm principal Francisco Illarramendi, who is accused of taking at least $53M from a hedge fund and fraudulently transferring investor money from several funds to bank accounts he controlled. Illarramendi then allegedly took that money and placed it in private-equity investments.

The SEC’s securities fraud complaint charges the investment adviser and Illarramendi with violating the 1940 Investment Advisers Act. Rather than using the money to benefit investors, Illarramendi allegedly used the money to his benefit and for the benefit of the entities under his control. The SEC says that it sought emergency relief because it was afraid that Illarramendi was going to make additional, unauthorized investments.

The largest private equity investment Illarramendi made was in an unnamed West Coast nuclear energy company. The SEC says he used $23 million in investor funds. A foreign company pension fund that was his biggest investor contributed 90% of the money in his funds.

In December 2009, Illarramendi allegedly authorized for $3.5 million to be transferred from an account to a Spanish company that makes rolled steel. In May 2010, he approved the transfer of $20 million from the financial firm’s $540 million Short Term Liquidity Fund to pay for shares in a clean-tech manufacturing company. He transferred another $4 million from the short-term fund to purchase shares in a development stage energy company. Another $3.1 million was transferred from different funds to the Spanish steel company.

The SEC is accusing Illarramendi of using clients’ money as if they were his and diverting millions of the investors’ funds. The commission says he breached his responsibilities as an investment adviser and abused clients’ trust. The SEC is seeking disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, permanent injunction, plus prejudgment interest.

Named as relief defendants that received investor money that they weren’t entitled are Michael Kenwood Asset Management LLC, MKEI Solar LP., and Kenwood Energy and Infrastructure LLC. Illarramendi, who is the majority owner of Michael Kenwood Group LLC, managed several hedge funds. One of the hedge funds has held up to $540 million in assets.

Related Web Resources:
SEC Charges Connecticut-Based Hedge Fund Manager for Fraudulent Misuse of Investor Assets, SEC, January 28, 2011
Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)

1940 Investment Advisers Act

Related Blog Posts:
Fontana Capital LLC Founder Violated Short-Selling Rule, Says SEC, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 2, 2011
3 Hedge Funds Raided by FBI in Insider Trading Case, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 23, 2010
$2.6M Texas Securities Fraud Settlement: Hedge Fund Adviser Settles SEC Allegations Involving Violations Related to Improper Public Stock Offering Participation After Short Selling, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 5, 2010 Continue Reading ›

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