Defending oneself against allegations of hedge fund fraud can be expensive. What’s an accused fraudster to do?
Start another hedge fund fraud! That was Hamilton Bird’s plan, according to Colorado authorities. Bird, who pleaded guilty to ripping off investors in his XL Capital Partners hedge fund of $12 million in 2008, finds himself charged with launching a new scam to finance his defense.
Bird was indicted yesterday for defrauding 14 investors from around the country of $690,000. He collected the money for his EquityFX between January 2006—five months before his indictment in the XL case—and September 2008, when he was sentenced. According to prosecutors, Bird promised investors a currency trading strategy, but actually used more than $250,000 to pay his lawyer in the XL case.
Bird also allegedly used some of the proceeds to buy furniture and cars.
“This case is remarkable not only for its breadth and the number of investors affected, but also because Mr. Bird perpetrated a portion of the fraud while criminal proceedings were pending against him,” Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said.
Bird allegedly used false names in the EquityFX scam, calling himself Alex Davis or Al Byrd, according to the indictment. He also didn’t tell investors about the XL indictment.
Bird is already serving a 24-year sentence for the XL fraud. He faces an additional four to 12 years on each of the seven new securities fraud and theft charges.