U.K. Court Freezes Assets Of Boston-based Hedge Fund

May 20 2008 | 9:56am ET

U.S. regulators are getting a helping hand from their colleagues across the pond in battling one alleged hedge fund scam.

Last Friday, the High Court of Justice in London froze the assets of Glenn Manterfield, a British citizen and defendant in a pending Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action in connection with an on-going hedge fund scam.

The SEC filed its U.S. enforcement action in April 2007 in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts against Manterfield, Evan Andersen of Boston, and Lydia Capital, a registered investment adviser based in Boston. The SEC alleges that, between June 2006 and April 2007, Lydia engaged in a scheme to defraud more than 60 investors, who invested approximately $34 million in Lydia Capital Alternative Investment Fund, a hedge fund. The defendants told investors that they intended to use the fund's assets to acquire a portfolio of life insurance polices in the life settlement market.

According to the SEC, the defendants did anything but that, instead overstating, and in some instances completely fabricating, the fund's performance, inventing business partners, offices and investors in an attempt to legitimatize the firm and concealing the truth as to why key vendors and banks ended their relationships with the firm. They also lied about Manterfield's significant criminal history and withdrew million of dollars to which they were not entitled.

On February 29, the SEC filed a limited notice application with the High Court, seeking an emergency order freezing approximately US$1 million in assets held by Manterfield in the U.K.

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