When one settles fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it's best to keep one's personal spending quiet.
That's advice that hedge fund manager Lawrence Goldfarb allegedly failed to heed. Goldfarb, head of LRG Capital, was held in civil contempt last week by a federal judge in San Francisco; authorities say that Goldfarb spent almost $300,000 on "personal luxury expenses" while paying only $80,000 of the $14.2 million he agreed to pay last year to victims of his alleged fraud.
Among the big-ticket items Goldfarb bought since striking the deal were $43,000 tickets to see basketball's Golden State Warriors. At a hearing last month, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said, "I haven't spend a tenth of that much money in my entire life on sports tickets. This is just a different planet."
Goldfarb also alleged spent more than $46,000 on three chartered flights, some $39,000 on luxury hotels and a vacation house, nearly $12,000 for an engagement party and $8,000 at the Pottery Barn.
"This guy is living high on the hog while the poor, defrauded investors get nothing," Alsup said.
Goldfarb could now face the seizure of his assets and could be charged criminally.