Despite his acquittal on criminal hedge fund fraud charges, an appeals court has upheld a $62 million judgment against the Lancer Group's Michael Lauer.
A Miami jury cleared Lauer last year of running "one of the largest hedge fund frauds in the history of the United States," what prosecutors called a $1.1 billion scam. But the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said that a lower court "had before it overwhelming evidence of Lauer's knowing false statements" when it granted summary judgment in the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil case in 2008.
According to the SEC's complaint in the case, Lauer raised more than $1.1 billion from investors over several years by misrepresenting the nature of and returns on his investments, and caused investors to lose approximately $500 million of that amount.
The appeals court rejected Lauer's claim that U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra abused his discretion in ordering the disgorgement and in denying Lauer's motions for an change in the asset freeze against him and for a change of venue.
Lauer said after his acquittal last year that he planned to return to the hedge fund industry.