A New York hedge fund manager who claimed royal ties has been arrested and charged with defrauding investors of at least $6 million.
Guy Albert de Chimay was arrested Friday in North Carolina after he was charged with grand larceny and forgery by the Manhattan district attorney. On the same day, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a fraud lawsuit against Chimay and his Chimay Capital Management.
According to the SEC, Chimay sold investors on his “Bridge Loan Facility” by telling them he would pool their assets with millions from the princely family of Chimay in Belgium, claiming to be related to the Prince of Chimay. Chimay allegedly said the facility would make low-risk, short-term bets, guaranteeing 12% annual returns.
In fact, Chimay spent at least $6 million to pay his divorce lawyers and the mortgage on his house in the Hamptons, according to the SEC. He allegedly falsified bank statements to hide his fraud, and also lied to investors about how much his firm managed, claiming to run $200 million. In December, Chimay allegedly sought a multi-million bank loan by claiming he had $13 million in a Bermudan bank account. According to the SEC, he had exactly $13 million less than that in the account.
“Chimay used the trappings of royalty to perpetrate the most common of frauds,” George Canellos, head of the SEC’s New York office, said. “Chimay blatantly lied to investors about non-existent investments and then used their money to bankroll his exorbitant personal and business debts.”
The SEC won an emergency freeze of Chimay’s assets and those of his firm on Friday.
In addition to the New York criminal charges and the SEC’s lawsuit, Chimay also faces at least three investor lawsuits.