Ex-Visium Portfolio Manager Convicted Of Securities Fraud

Jan 19 2017 | 10:56pm ET

Former Visium Asset Management portfolio manager Stefan Lumiere was convicted of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud charges on Thursday following less than two hours of jury deliberations. 

The charges stemmed from allegations that Lumiere improperly inflated the prices of distressed bonds held in the $470 million Visium Credit Opportunities Fund from 2011 to early 2013 by getting brokers to provide hundreds of fake quotes for the securities. The inflation prices resulted in nearly $6 million in additional fees for Visium and its executives, according to Bloomberg. The fund closed in 2013. 

Lumiere’s sister was married to Visium founder Jacob Gottlieb, a former physician turned healthcare-stock investor. The case was prompted by a federal probe of Visium that resulted in the $8 billion firm's liquidation last year and charges against three other executives, including Sanjay Valvani, a portfolio manager who committed suicide in June after being charged with insider trading.

Lumiere's lawyer, Eric Creizman, told media representatives that an appeal was likely, according to a Reuters article late Thursday. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff scheduled Lumiere's sentencing for May 23, where he faces a maximum 45 years in prison and $5 million in fines.

The case is U.S. v. Lumiere, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-cr-00483.

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