Boston Man Admits To Defrauding Investors, Name Of Fund Foreshadowed A Storm

Oct 26 2006 | 7:11am ET

If you are an investor thinking about placing money in a particular hedge fund, we have a suggestion for you: Just look at the name! A suburban Boston man has admitted to defrauding 50 investors in scam involving his purported hedge fund, Groundswell Partners.

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, groundswell means “a broad deep undulation of the ocean caused by an often distant gale or seismic disturbance.” Need we say more?

Mark Conway pleaded guilty this week to 13 counts of mail and wire fraud. Judge Patti Saris entered a $5 million judgment against Conway, and U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan is to seek an additional $5 million in restitution. Conway is to be sentenced in January, and faces up 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Between 2001 and 2005, according to the Feds, Conway’s Groundswell Partners – allegedly, a quantitative systematic hedge fund – collected some $25 million from 54 investors, telling them his fund would follow a market-timing strategy. Instead, he allegedly deviated from that strategy and lied to investors about it, creating false documents in an effort to win further investment.

When the government put a stop to Groundswell, it recovered only $14 million.


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