British Court Freezes Hedge Fund Manager’s Assets At SEC’s Request

Jan 29 2009 | 1:22am ET

A British court has upheld an unusual Securities and Exchange Commission request to freeze the assets of a British citizen accused of defrauding investors in his U.S.-based hedge fund.

Sir Charles Gray, a judge at the High Court in London, froze an account held by Glenn Manterfield, who runs Boston-based Lydia Capital with his partner, Evan Anderson. The SEC has charged the two men with trying to swindle more than 60 Taiwanese investors out of $34 million. Manterfield and Anderson are accused of “materially overstating, and in some cases completely fabricating the fund’s performance.”

The SEC complaint accuses Manterfield and Anderson of “offering and selling hedge fund interests to investors and potential investors and not disclosing material facts,” such as that “the Fund’s principal underlying assets—i.e., life insurance policies—may be either worthless or virtually worthless.”

Manterfield will be barred from accessing the account, with some £500,000 (US$715,000), until the SEC’s investigation is complete. The court rejected his argument that the SEC was improperly seeking to enforce foreign laws in English courts, and barred him from appealing to the country’s highest judicial body, the House of Lords.

Anderson has already been ordered by a U.S. federal court to repay $1.8 million in ill-gotten gains from the alleged fraud.

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