Regulators in Hong Kong have frozen the assets of a hedge fund accused of defrauding investors.
The Securities and Futures Commission won court permission to freeze more than US$110 million in assets related to Descartes Investment Management’s Descartes Athena Fund. The regulator said that the Hong Kong-based firm may have given investors fraudulent investment contracts and accounting statements.
According to the SFC, Descartes raised about US$104.9 million from 313 investors, mostly from Taiwan. But as investors attempted to withdraw their money from the fund last year, the regulator said it has found evidence that the fund’s managers had liquidated assets in the middle of 2008.
“The SFC’s urgent action was prompted by concerns that client monies were at risk of dissipation,” it said in a statement.
The Hong Kong High Court granted an injunction today giving the SFC the power to freeze up to US$90.6 million in assets of individuals or legal entities related to the fund, as well as another US$20.8 million transferred from Descartes Global Asset Management to an unidentified third party.