A California hedge fund manager has been arrested on the other side of the Pacific after being charged with defrauding investors of at least $5 million.
Albert Hu was arrested in Hong Kong on Tuesday; an extradition hearing has been scheduled for March 25. Federal prosecutors have charged him with stealing millions from clients and lying about the safety of their investments, promising them returns of 20% to 30%.
Hu has also been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has asked that his assets be frozen because “he has refused investors’ requests for the return of their funds.”
According to the criminal complaint, unsealed yesterday in federal court in San Jose, Calif., Hu ran his fraud through several Sunnyvale, Calif.-based hedge funds from 2002 until last year. He allegedly told clients that the hedge fund were affiliated with major international law firms and auditors, claims the feds say were “fabricated” to “legitimize” his hedge funds, Aseqneua Beta Fund and Fireside LS Fund.
In fact, according to prosecutors, there were no law firms or auditors overseeing the funds, and Hu was wiring millions to bank accounts he controlled in Asia. Hu allegedly left the U.S. in June, closing bank accounts he had in Singapore and shifting the supposedly stolen assets to accounts in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“Documents obtained in the course of the investigation revealed that Hu caused the wiring of millions of dollars from victim-investors' bank accounts in the United States to bank accounts Hu held abroad,” prosecutors said in the complaint.