Toronto Hedge Fund Manager Arrested In Drug Sting

Mar 31 2008 | 9:44am ET

A prominent Canadian hedge fund manager has been charged with buying drugs for an undercover police officer.

Matthew MacIsaac of MM Asset Management was one of 33 people arrested at a Toronto bar as part of a drugs sweep on St. Patrick’s Day dubbed “Project White Rabbit.”

MM Asset has for two weeks publicly denied that the Matthew MacIsaac arrested on March 17 and the man who serves as secretary of their funds were the same man, although MacIsaac’s lawyer acknowledged Friday that the men were one and the same. MM has also reported MacIsaac’s involvement to the Ontario Securities Commission.

MacIsaac’s attorney, Austin Cooper, told the Globe & Mail that his client would fight the conspiracy to traffic cocaine charges “vigorously.” The hedge fund manager is free on bail and has yet to enter a plea.

MacIsaac reportedly arrived at the Toronto bar, the Comfort Zone, at 4 a.m. after attending a pair of St. Patrick’s Day parties. The bar was on the police’s radar screen after a 26-year-old died of an overdose at the club earlier this year.

“Drugs were being used openly; drugs were being sold openly,” Detective Sergeant Ed Roseto of the Toronto police told the Globe & Mail.

A female undercover officer allegedly approached MacIsaac and asked him for drugs. MacIsaac then allegedly found cocaine for the woman and gave it to her, refusing payment.

MacIssac reportedly withdrew C$800 (US$780) from an ATM before going to the club; when police asked him about the C$600 (US$590) in his pocket at his arrest, he responded, “I’m a hedge fund manager.”

Police seized C$30,000 (US$29,350) worth of drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy, GHB and heroin at the Comfort Zone, along with C$35,000 (US$34,250) in cash.

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