Monday, April 23, 2007
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a $125 million Fair Fund distribution to more than 254,000 investors who were harmed by fraudulent market timing in the PBHG Funds between June 1998 and December 2001. Today’s distribution is the first in a series of three disbursements from the Fair Fund that will distribute a total of approximately $267 million to more than 384,000 affected PBHG Funds’ account holders. The Fair Fund resulted from Commission enforcement actions charging unlawful market timing in the PBHG Funds by Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, Ltd. (PBA), Gary L. Pilgrim, and Harold J. Baxter.
“Of the Commission’s many responsibilities under the federal securities laws, one of the most important and indeed most gratifying is providing tangible relief to injured investors,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the Division of Enforcement. “Today’s distribution is a significant milestone in remedying harm that investors in the PBHG Funds suffered.”
The Fair Fund provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 enabled the SEC to increase the amount of money returned to harmed investors by allowing financial penalties paid by wrongdoers to be included in the distributions. Prior to the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley, only disgorgement could be returned to affected investors. To date, the SEC has distributed more than $1 billion in Fair Fund monies.