Hedge fund bosses charged over $1bn investment fraud

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Senior executives at New York-based hedge fund manager Platinum Partners have been arrested on charges of running a $1bn (£808m) “Ponzi-esque” investment fraud.

Reuters reports that Platinum founding partner and chief investment officer Mark Nordlicht was arrested at his home in New York. Federal prosecutors have accused him and six others of taking part in schemes to defraud investors.

The company was set up in 2003 and until this year held over $1.7bn in assets under management for over 600 investors. Platinum was known to generate high returns of about 17 per cent annually in its largest fund thanks to an aggressive approach to fund management.

Brooklyn US attorney Robert Capers says: “The charges … highlight the brazenness and the breadth of the defendants’ lies and deceit.”

He added there was a “Ponzi-esque aspect to the scheme”, with the indictment alleging the defendants overvalued illiquid assets and used loans to repay investors, and chose to pay some investors over others.

Nordlicht has pleaded not guilty to charges including securities fraud. Co-chief investment officer David Levy and former president of the signature Platinum fund Uri Landesman have also pleaded not guilty.

A Platinum spokesman declined to comment to Reuters.