Oregon Hedge Funds Under Scrutiny

Dec 6 2010 | 4:20am ET

Their names refer to mythical beasts, but now Oregon authorities are looking into whether there was anything else mythical—or worse—about a pair of Portland-area hedge funds.

The Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities is investigating allegations of fraud at Grifphon Asset Management and Sasquatch Capital. The probe comes after several investors filed complaints alleging that they have been unable to withdraw their money.

Liquidity has been a problem, Grifphon's Yusaf Jawed admits. He said his Lake Oswego-based firm failed to get a bridge loan it needed to pay off investors as promised last year and told The Oregonian, "I'm doing my best to get this solved."

Neither Sasquatch nor founder Lyman Bruhn commented on the investigation, but Bruhn did e-mail investors last month thanking them for their patience. Bruhn also seems to have launched a new hedge fund this year, Pearl Asset Management, based across the river from Portland in Vancouver, Wash.

Jawed and Bruhn have longstanding ties, working together since the 1990s. But Jawed said the two men no longer have a business relationship.

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