SEC charges California man in multi-million dollar hedge fund fraud

SEC charges California man in multi-million dollar hedge fund fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued a California man for posing as a fund manager in a bogus hedge fund scheme. 

The SEC alleges that Stephen C. Bond of Walnut Creek, California, aided the scheme of Silicon Valley hedge fund manager Albert K. Hu from 2001 through 2008 while helping himself to nearly a million dollars. 

The SEC sued Hu in March 2009 and the case remains pending. 

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Bond attended investor meetings along with Hu to solicit investments in the Asenqua and Fireside hedge funds. According to the SEC, Bond was portrayed at these meetings and in written materials as the funds’ portfolio manager. Bond’s introduction was designed to reassure investors about the security and the legitimacy of the funds.

“Bond held himself out as a seasoned investment professional, convincing investors that their money was in good hands,” says Marc J. Fagel, director of the SEC’s San Francisco regional office. “Individuals who facilitate fraudulent investment schemes by giving them an air of legitimacy are no less culpable than the principals who initiate and propagate the scams.”

According to the SEC’s complaint, Bond’s apparent knowledge about the securities markets and role as the investment manager was significant to investors, who decided to invest after meeting with Hu and Bond and receiving documents describing Bond’s involvement in the investment decisions of the funds. 

The SEC alleges that, in reality, Bond conducted no actual securities trading for the funds and never executed the complex trading strategies that he and Hu explained to investors. 

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Bond personally received approximately USD900,000 in the investment scheme for his role in helping Hu defraud investors.

The complaint, filed in federal district court for the Northern District of California, charges Bond with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. 

The SEC seeks a final judgment permanently enjoining Bond from future violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and ordering him to pay financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains. 

Meanwhile, the SEC’s previously-filed action against Hu is proceeding, and he remains in custody following the filing of a related criminal action by the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. 

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