Securities Fraud News: Another Hedge Fund Shutters, Telecom Company to Pay $1.25M for Disclosure Failures, and SEC Orders Stock Trader to Pay $1.5M Over Fraud Charges  

Former SAC Trader To Close Down Hedge Fund In The Wake of Losses
Andrew Bazarian will close down his Pinyin Capital Management Hong Kong Ltd.’s hedge fund in the wake of massive losses sustained by the fund, a lack of investor interest, and the exodus of Blue Pool Capital, its largest backer. Bazarian, a former SAC trader, started the fund in 2014 with Blue Pool’s $100M pledge. He left SAC to start the pan-Asian portfolio before the firm pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading.
 
Bazarian’s hedge fund is not the only one to shutter because of poor returns and investors leaving the industry. In July alone, investors throughout the world withdrew about $25.2B from hedge funds.  According to Bloomberg, others that have closed down hedge funds in Asia AMP Capital, Lazard Asset Management, and Pine River Capital Management. 
 
Telecommunications Company to Pay $1.25M for Not Disclosing Credit Risks 
The Securities and Exchange Commission said that Portugal Telecom SGPS S.A. will pay a $1.25M penalty for not properly disclosing the degree of credit risk involved in investments in debt instruments issued by Grupo Espirito Santo’s companies. By settling, Portugal Telecom is not denying or admitting to the findings. It has, however, consented to the regulator’s cease-and-desist order.

According to the Commission, because Portugal Telecom’s SGPS SA’s financial statements for 2013 included disclosure failures, investors were able to get a full sense of the risks involved in investing in the debt instruments, which made up 82% of short-term investments. The regulator said that the company did not correctly characterize these investments in a Grupo Espirito Santo-issued commercial paper, which stated that Portugal Telecom was the one that issued the debt securities when it merely subscribed to them.
 
“Stock Trading Whiz Kid” is Accused of Fraud
The SEC said that Manuel E. Jesus and his newsletter company Wealthpire Inc. will pay almost $1.5M to resolve SEC charges accusing them of bilking subscribers via misrepresentations and false statements. Jesus refers to himself as a “stock trading whiz kid.”
 
According to their regulator, on websites and in advertising collateral, Jesus and Wealthier called him by the name “Manny Backus,” and claimed he was a prodigy when it came to investing. Backus said that he was a “Math whiz” who had been trading in the stock market since he was 19. Wealthpire materials claimed that Backus had made millions of dollars before he even began helping other investors.  Backus’ alert service claimed to allow traders to imitate his trading moves. 
 
However, contends the Commission, for a time, Bacchus was trading in stocks other than what he was recommending, and at least one other person—Robert C. Joiner—made some of the stock picks without supervision or advice from Backus on how to make the selections. 

Joiner is accused of telling investors that he was selling and purchasing specific stocks even though he didn’t make any of these transactions.
 
To settle the securities fraud case, Backus and Wealthpire will pay disgorgement, interest, and a penalty. They and Joiner, however, are not denying or admitting to the SEC’s charges. Joiner also has settled.