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Univ. of Toledo College of Law

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Monday, May 19, 2008

SEC Obtains Asset Freeze in UK Related to U.S. Hedge Fund Enforcement Action

The High Court of Justice in London issued an order freezing assets held in the United Kingdom by Glenn Manterfield, a citizen of the United Kingdom and a resident of Sheffield, England. Manterfield is a defendant in a pending SEC enforcement action in which the SEC obtained emergency relief, including an asset freeze, against Manterfield and others in connection with an alleged on-going fraudulent hedge fund operation.

On February 29, 2008, the Commission filed a limited notice application with the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division seeking an emergency order freezing approximately $1 million in assets held by Manterfield in the United Kingdom. The Commission filed the application after learning that a separate freeze order previously obtained by British authorities against Manterfield's assets might be lifted. After a hearing on the Commission's application on February 29, 2008, the British Court issued an order freezing the assets until Thursday, March 6, 2008. Manterfield consented to continue the freeze until an evidentiary hearing could be held to determine whether the freeze should be extended. An evidentiary hearing was held in the High Court of Justice on April 30, 2008 and May 1, 2008. On May 16, 2008, the British Court issued an order continuing the freeze of Manterfield's assets until the resolution of the Commission's pending enforcement action in the United States.

The Commission had previously filed its U.S. enforcement action on April 12, 2007 in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts against Manterfield, Evan Andersen, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Lydia Capital, LLC, a registered investment adviser based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Commission's Amended Complaint alleges that, between June 2006 and April 2007, Manterfield and Andersen, acting through Lydia, engaged in a scheme to defraud more than 60 investors, who invested approximately $34 million in Lydia Capital Alternative Investment Fund LP, a hedge fund managed by Lydia. The Amended Complaint alleges that defendants told investors that they intended to use the Fund's assets to acquire a portfolio of life insurance polices in the life settlement market. According to the Amended Complaint, Manterfield, Andersen, and Lydia made a series of material misrepresentations and omissions, including but not limited to: (1) materially overstating, and in some instances completely fabricating the Fund's performance; (2) inventing business partners, offices, and investors in an attempt to legitimatize the firm and concealing the truth as to why key vendors and banks ceased relationships with the defendants; (3) lying about Manterfield's significant criminal history, and failing to disclose a February 2007 criminal asset freeze in England; (4) lying about how the Fund planned to address certain material risks and failing to disclose others; and (5) misstating the nature of the Fund's assets and its investment process. In addition, the Amended Complaint alleges that Manterfield and Andersen misappropriated millions of dollars of investors' funds by withdrawing investor monies to which they were not entitled.

On April 12, 2007, the U.S. District Court issued a temporary restraining order that, among other things, froze the three defendants' assets. On May 3, 2007, following a hearing before the Court on May 2, 2007, the Court issued a consented-to preliminary injunction and ordered a continuation of an asset freeze of the defendants' assets. The action is pending against all three defendants.

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