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Federal Agencies Whack Hedge Funds

Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are after hedge funds in two separate schemes.

Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are after hedge funds in two separate schemes. In the first, the SEC has charged Sharon Vaughn and her Director Financial Group with attracting $25 million for a so-called “prime bank” scheme, in which they promoted investment in the Directors Performance Fund by telling potential investors they “can make exorbitant guaranteed returns, with no risk to the investor’s principal, by complex trading in an exclusive” – and often secret – “market in unspecified” – and, in reality, non-existent – “bank instruments.” In the CFTC action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina has indicted Howell Woltz and his wife, Vernice Holtz, for allegedly obstructing hedge fund fraud litigation filed against Tech Traders and others two years ago. According to the CFTC, Tech Traders fraudulently solicited millions from investors for a hedge fund that was said to trade commodity futures according to a “unique computerized approach” that would return “more than 100% per year.” The Holtzes, principals in the Sterling Group, which invested in Tech Traders, allegedly obstructed the cases against TT by deleting accountant files and lying during a CFTC deposition, among other charges.

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