Plainfield Hit By Overvaluation Allegations

Aug 18 2010 | 2:02pm ET

Plainfield Asset Management certainly didn’t need any more bad news, but it got some earlier this month, in the form of a whistleblower lawsuit accusing it of defrauding investors.

The Stamford, Conn.-based firm—Plainfield moved from its former Greenwich digs to its former disaster recovery space earlier this year—inflated the value of its portfolio to allow it to collect higher fees from clients, according to an Aug. 6 letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the would-be whistleblowers by lawyer Stuart Meissner.

Plainfield and founder Max Holmes “have knowingly and intentionally defrauded its own investors… through the fraudulent overvaluation of its own assets under management,” Meissner’s letter alleges. Some of the hedge fund’s assets are valued “in excess of their true value, enabling Plainfield to defraud its own investors by unlawfully charging higher management fees than those which it is in fact entitled to.”

The whistleblower suit was first reported by the New York Post.

The allegations of valuation inflation come amidst a pair of investigations into alleged predatory lending by the hedge fund, from both the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and Connecticut Attorney General’s office.

Plainfield has denied the whistleblower charges, calling them “without merit.”

“Our valuation policies and procedures have been scrutinized by not only Duff & Phelps, PwC and Deloitte, but also by our regulators,” Thomas Fritsch, the hedge fund’s general counsel, said.


In Depth

Creating An Offshore Hedge Fund Dream Team: The Seven Key Players

Jun 26 2015 | 6:47am ET

If you want to set up an offshore hedge fund, like any great team, you’re only...

Lifestyle

Hedgies Set to Compete in Wall Street Decathlon

Jun 8 2015 | 12:37am ET

The Wall Street Decathlon — a 10-event physical challenge that will crown “Wall...

Guest Contributor

6 Essential Principles To Balance Your Investment Risk

Jun 26 2015 | 10:07am ET

In this article, financial expert Greg Silberman explores how to hedge a private...

 

Editor's Note