Calif. Hedge Fund Manager Settles Charges He Hid Losses

Dec 2 2010 | 1:58pm ET

The son of a retired Silicon Valley executive has settled allegations that he defrauded investors in his hedge fund.

Neil Godbole will pay a $40,000 fine and has been barred from the industry for five years, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. The regulator had sued Godbole, accusing him of systematically misleading investors to hide some $14.5 million in losses suffered by his Opulent Lite fund.

Saratoga, Calif.-based Opulent Lite raised some $30 million from 70 investors through the beginning of 2008. But in February of that year, the SEC said he began hiding losses by sending false account statements. He even understated his gains—when he made them—in an effort to make up for those losses, according to the SEC order.

A year after first misstating returns, Godbole, the son of Navin Communications co-founder Vishwas Godbole, admitted his "rollover" strategy to investors. Opulent Lite closed its doors in March 2009.

"Neil cooperated fully with the SEC and is pleased to put the SEC matter behind him," his lawyer, Jahan Raissi, said. Godbole did not admit or deny wrongdoing.

While his SEC troubles may be behind him, Godbole is still facing a raft of lawsuits filed by about 50 of his 70 investors.

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