Thursday, April 18, 2013
The SEC charged Umesh Tandon, the CEO of investment advisory firm Simran Capital Management, with lying to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and other current and potential clients about the amount of money managed by the firm. Tandon has agreed to settle the SEC's fraud charges.
Institutional investors such as CalPERS often use assets under management (AUM) as a metric to screen prospective investment advisers soliciting their business. An SEC investigation revealed that while pitching Simran's services, Tandon falsely certified to CalPERS that his firm satisfied its minimum AUM requirements. After fraudulently obtaining the business from CalPERS, Tandon also falsely inflated Simran's AUM in communications with other potential clients with whom he touted his firm's relationship with CalPERS. Tandon also fraudulently reported an inflated AUM in filings with the SEC, and he later attempted to mislead SEC examiners during a routine examination of Simran.
According to the SEC's order instituting settled administrative proceedings against Tandon, he represented to CalPERS in May 2008 that Simran met explicit AUM requirements and managed at least $200 million as of Dec. 31, 2007. In fact, Simran managed approximately $80 million at that time. Evidence indicates that Tandon was aware that Simran did not meet the CalPERS requirements for AUM.
Tandon neither admitted nor denied the findings, and agreed to be barred from the securities industry and pay disgorgement of $20,018, prejudgment interest of $1,680, and a penalty of $100,000.