Hedge Fund Manager Fakes Death, Compares Himself to Werewolf

Feb 14 2015 | 4:33pm ET

A 33-year-old “hedge fund” manager told one investor he had died of a heart attack and another that he was like a werewolf in order to avoid paying back clients.

Moazzam “Mark” Malik made the statements during an effort to coverup a scheme in which he allegedly stole roughly $850,000 from 16 investors, according to the SEC.

Malik used the money to purchase jewelry, attend Harvard extension courses, and find a spouse, the agency said. As recently as late January, he raised $100,000 from a single client.

“By pretending to be a successful hedge fund manager, Malik conned investors into bankrolling his lavish lifestyle,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.  “Besides luxury travel, dining, and jewelry, investor funds paid for Malik’s continuing education courses at Harvard and his subscription to a matrimonial matching website.”

Malik was also criminally charged by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Attorney General said that Malik, a former New York Police Department traffic agent, waiter, and security guard, stole $250,000 from five investors. 

Both the SEC and the Attorney General’s office outlined the scheme. Malik allegedly lied to financial news outlets about his total assets under management and about his fund's performance since he created it in 2010.  

The fund itself changed names several times. Initially, the firm was Wall Street Creative Partners before he changed it to Seven Sages Capital, then American Bridge Investment Group, and finally Wolf Hedge.  Malik also claimed that his fund had held assets of $100 million.

However, the SEC has revealed that the firm only raised $840,000. American Bridge never had more than $90,177 in its trading account, the SEC reported.

The bank account of Wolf Hedge held a balance of negative $310 as of November 30, 2014, the SEC said.

While using investors money on personal expenses, Malik also concocted false reports that he fed to the financial media, some even earning him significant praise.

In 2011, Bloomberg called him a rising fund manager after Malik provided false data on his fund’s returns. The media outlet reported that his Seven Sages fund reported a 92.73% return in 2012.  In 2013, BarclayHedge awarded Malik’s firm a “gold star” based on his false performance claims. 

But the story takes a stranger turn when the claims began to not add up. After investors began to demand their money back, Malik did all he could to keep the ruse going. 

In September 2013, a fictitious employee named Courtney told one investor that there was a delay in processing returns because Malik had died of a heart attack. 

"Mr. Malik has been [sic] passed away with the heart attack after accident,” the email read. “We will dissolve the fund shortly.”

In February 2014, another investor asked for money back. This time, Malik sent the investor an email in which he compared himself to a werewolf. In the note, Malik sent a video of a werewolf movie and told the investor, "that's what I think I am." 

The SEC believes that the email was a warning to the investor about demanding any money back, stating that the email indicated “that Malik was as dangerous and threatening as a werewolf."

Malik also created other fake employees as well, including a fictitious investor relations manager Amanda Ebert, whose email contact was used to send false reports to investors. The SEC says that Malik sent the emails and included a picture of a woman who was not working at the fund.

Malik claims on his LinkedIn page that he has “managed over 7 billion dollars in assets internationally." But the New York Post reports that Malik's only financial experience prior to his scam was working as a trainee at a New York consulting firm.

And, according to Wolf Hedge’s website, all of its job positions have been filled.

On his personal webpage, Malik’s bio states: "by personifying the tenets of quality, integrity, efficiency and innovation, Mark is the entrepreneurial catalyst that has fostered the appetite of ingenuity, originality, creativity and distinct inventiveness that is uniquely found at Wolf Hedge."

Bail for Malik has been set at $1 million.

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