Madoff-, Petters-Linked Hedge Fund Manager Hit With SEC Suit

Sep 9 2010 | 1:52am ET

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued a Colorado hedge fund manager for allegedly misleading clients in three funds that lost money in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

The regulator did not accuse Neal Greenberg of knowing about or participating in the $65 billion fraud. But it did say that he promised investors in his Agile Group low-risk investments. Many of the firm’s more than 100 clients were retirees.

“Greenberg misrepresented the diversification, risks and fees involved with investing in the Agile hedge funds to conservative investors who were dependent upon their investment income for some or all of their living expenses,” Donald Hoerl of the SEC’s Denver office said. “Greenberg’s unsuitable recommendations and misrepresentations deceived his advisory clients into believing their money was safe with him.”

Agile, which managed $174 million, suspended redemptions in September 2008, telling investors that it had suffered losses in a fraud. Only three months later did clients learn that the losses were linked to Madoff, as well as the Thomas Petters Ponzi scheme.

The SEC also accuses Agile of charging some $2 million in inadequately-disclosed fees.

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