Hedge Fund Manager (And TV Pundit) Faces Fraud Charges

Feb 16 2011 | 8:31am ET

New York hedge fund manager and sometime TV pundit Brian Kim has been accused of masterminding a $4 million Ponzi scheme.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said Tuesday Kim, who remains at large, had been indicted on charges of grand larceny and scheme to defraud for a scam that started in 2003. Kim is accused of defrauding 45 West Coast investors, according to the New York Daily News. Kim is said to have preyed on tech workers in Silicon Valley and Washington.

"The defendant induced his clients to make risky and speculative investments by portraying himself as an accomplished trader and money manager," Vance said.

The 35-year-old made two appearances on CNBC’s financial news show “Squawk Box” in 2009, during which he is alleged to have promoted his fraudulent investment business. Officials claim he also doctored financial statements and told investors he’d generated returns of 240% since 2000.

Kim also faces a civil suit, filed Tuesday by federal regulators, which claims he stole at least $2.1 million from 37 investors in 2009 and 2010.

Officials say Kim has been AWOL since January, when he failed to show up for a Manhattan trial on a separate charge (he is alleged to have stolen $438,000 in 2008 from the East Village condo where he lived).

Kim, if convicted, could face up to 25 years in prison.

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