SEC Rejects Civil Settlement With Harbinger Capital

Jul 22 2013 | 6:33am ET

The SEC has rejected an $18 million settlement with billionaire Phil Falcone and his hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Partners. The decision was revealed Friday in a filing by Harbinger Group—the publicly traded entity run by Falcone, which is not being targeted by regulators.

While no reason was given for the SEC’s vote to turn down two settlements, which had been negotiated by the regulator’s own enforcement staff, agency head Mary Jo White wants to do away with the language common in settlements where those being fined neither confirm nor deny guilt.

Last summer, the SEC charged Falcone with market manipulation, favoring certain investors—including Goldman Sachs—and borrowing money from the fund to pay his personal taxes. If the SEC had accepted the deal, the billionaire money manager would have had to return outside money in his fund and bar him from running a fund for two years. He would, however, be able to retain his title as CEO of Harbinger Group, and could potentially launch a new hedge fund in the future.

Falcone could now face trial on the charges.

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