NIR Denies Part In Alleged Kickbacks Case

Oct 13 2010 | 11:19am ET

NIR Group, which faces a kickbacks probe itself, is denying any knowledge of a kickback scheme at Ingen Technologies.

The Securities and Exchange Commission last week charged Ingen and CEO Scott Sand with paying a pension fund manager and an associate to buy Ingen stock in an effort to boost its price. According to the regulator, Sand paid kickbacks that amounted to 30% of the $40,000 in purchase prices—more than $12,000—to the pension fund, Benefits and Pension Group.

Unfortunately for Sand and Ingen, Benefits and Pensions was set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

And unfortunately for NIR, it was one of the medical device maker's largest investors. The hedge fund is being investigated for allegedly paying kickbacks to help it inflate the value of some of its hedge funds, and some investors have accused the Roslyn, N.Y.-based firm invented its returns, though it is unclear whether authorities have linked the Ingen kickbacks to NIR.

Neither NIR nor founder Corey Ribotsky has been charged with any wrongdoing, but a former NIR analyst in July pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks and fraud.

The hedge fund is also denying any knowledge of or participation in the alleged Ingen kickback scheme, according to The PIPES Report. In fact, NIR said that it had sued Ingen last year "due to its failure to honor its obligations to NIR."

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