Italian Probe Into Collapsed Hedge Fund Expands

Nov 23 2011 | 7:27am ET

The investigation into former hedge fund manager Alberto Micalizzi has grown to include five other people linked to his collapsed fund, Dynamic Decisions Capital Management.

A former director of the London-based hedge fund, Marta Renzetti, is among those under investigation, Reuters reports. The homes of Renzetti and commodities trader Daniele Palla have been raided by Italian police, as were the home and office of Micalizzi last week. In addition, Italian authorities are looking into two Americans and a Russian who may have helped Micalizzi cover possible fraud at the hedge fund.

The renewed investigation follows an August Reuters report that found that almost all of Dynamic Decisions’ DD Growth Premium Fund’s US$550 million in assets were invested in highly illiquid bonds issued by a company based in a trailer park outside of Phoenix and backed by a global network of shell companies. What's more, Reuters found, the head of the Phoenix company was a fugitive from justice in the U.S. and the head of one of the charities that backed the bonds was a Russian who had been convicted of fraud.

The head of the Phoenix company, David Spargo, is among those Italian police are eyeing, as is the Russian charity head, Vladimir Kobzar. The sixth person under investigation is Alex Glenn, former head of an Australian oil company Palla claimed to represent. But Reuters reports that it “found little evidence of the company” in visits to its three supposed offices.

Sandradee Joseph, the former Dynamic Decisions chief compliance officer barred from the financial services industry by the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority this week, is not among those being probed in the Italian investigation.

Micalizzi has denied any wrongdoing. But Palla, in an interview with Reuters earlier this year, claimed that Micalizzi “cheated us. He signed the contract, purchased a number of bonds and he didn’t pay for it.”


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