Wednesday, April 29, 2009
On April 29, 2009, the SEC obtained a court order halting a hedge fund fraud based in Beverly Hills, California. The SEC's complaint alleges that Bradley L. Ruderman ("Ruderman") raised at least $38 million from about twenty investors since at least 2002 through his two hedge funds, Ruderman Capital Partners and Ruderman Capital Partners A. The SEC alleges that Ruderman defrauded his hedge fund investors by misrepresenting to them the hedge funds' investment returns and the assets under management.
Specifically, the SEC's complaint alleges that Ruderman falsely told investors that the hedge funds had earned positive returns from 15% to 60% per year and had over $800 million in assets. In reality, the hedge funds lost money and had less than $650,000 in assets. The complaint further alleges that in 2009, Ruderman made at least one Ponzi-like payment, using new investor money to pay returns to an earlier investor, and that Ruderman falsely told prospective investors that Lowell Milken (chairman of the Milken Family Foundation and Michael Milken's younger brother) and Larry Ellison (the CEO of Oracle Corporation) were investors in his hedge funds.
The federal district court for the Central District of California granted the SEC's request for emergency relief, including an order temporarily enjoining Ruderman, his company Ruderman Capital Management ("RCM"), and the hedge funds from future violations of the antifraud provisions, freezing their assets, and prohibiting the destruction of documents. The Commission also seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement, and civil penalties against all defendants. A hearing on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the defendants and whether a permanent receiver should be appointed is scheduled for May 7, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. PDT.