Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On September 29, 2009, the SEC obtained a court order freezing assets and halting a scheme in which Decatur, Illinois-based money manager, William A. Huber, falsely portrayed himself to investors as a successful money manager who managed three private investment funds with assets over $40 million, consistently beating market indices through skillful trading and shrewd investments. In reality, he managed just $3 million in investor assets, frequently lost money on his trading and misappropriated investor funds to pay for his lavish bi-coastal lifestyle.
The SEC alleges that William A. Huber reported false account balances to investors in three investment funds he controlled, stating that the funds held more than $40 million as of August 31, 2009. Huber's funds, however, held little more than $3 million in assets as of that date. Huber lost money on his trading throughout 2009, yet told investors that his trading had generated substantial returns. Huber collected performance fees he did not earn based on his false claims of returns in the funds he managed. Huber made Ponzi-like payments to investors by using newer investor funds to make investor redemption payments at inflated amounts. Huber also diverted investor funds for his personal benefit, including purchasing expensive homes for himself in Naples, Florida and La Jolla, California. The SEC further alleges that shortly after the arrest of Bernard Madoff, in an effort to conceal his fraud from investors, Huber sent his investors an email reassuring them that he managed his funds honestly and that his funds bore no resemblance to Madoff's scheme. Similarly, the complaint alleges that Huber lied to SEC staff members during their investigation of his activities, reporting false account balances to the SEC and claiming hedge fund investments that did not exist.
The SEC's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges that Huber solicited investments in three different private funds he controlled: The Quarter Funds, L.P., The Symmetry Fund, L.P. and The Trimester Fund. Huber managed the funds through Hubadex, Inc., a Decatur, Illinois-based company that he controlled.
The SEC's complaint charges Huber and Hubadex with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder, and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, civil penalties and the appointment of a receiver. The SEC's complaint also names Huber's wife, Ruthann Huber, and Huber's investment funds, The Quarter Funds, L.P., The Symmetry Fund, L.P. and the Trimester Fund, as relief defendants based on allegations that they received ill-gotten gains from Huber's fraud.
The Honorable Ruben Castillo, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, granted the SEC's request for emergency relief, including an order permanently enjoining Huber and Hubadex from committing further violations of the antifraud provisions and an order freezing the assets of Huber, Hubadex and the relief defendants. Huber, Hubadex and the relief defendants agreed to the emergency relief requested by the SEC.