Saturday, April 16, 2011

Assets Of Small-Time Fishers Money Manager Frozen Unlike Ponzi Scheme Operator Tim Durham

I guess it matters whose investments are at risk. When Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham stood accused of defrauding small-time investors in Ohio, many of whom were Amish, out of more than $200 million, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Indianapolis told us there was no need to freeze his assets because his attorneys had given them assurances he would not play any games with his assets. Even after he was indicted more than a year after the FBI raided his offices, his assets remain unfrozen. A federal magistrate had to send him to a half-way house for a week to force him to provide a more transparent financial disclosure statement to the federal court so he could be released to family members for home detention while he awaits his trial next year. When a former employee of a small-time investment adviser in Fishers, Scott Noble, recently blew the whistle on Keenan Hauke of Samex Capital Advisors for allegedly misappropriating clients' funds, the Indiana Secretary of State's Office wasted no time in obtaining a court order to freeze his assets before any charges have been brought against him. According to an IBJ report:

A Hamilton County judge has ordered a temporary asset freeze against prominent Fishers money manager Keenan Hauke, who is being investigated by the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office over financial irregularities involving a hedge fund he operates.

Superior Court Judge J. Richard Campbell on Friday also placed a temporary restraining order against Hauke, CEO of Samex Capital Advisors LLC, from doing business at least until a preliminary court hearing on April 25.

The Indiana securities commissioner's office sought the freeze because it said "good and reasonable cause exists to believe [Hauke and his businesses] violated the Indiana Uniform Securities Act."

A complaint filed by the state against Hauke, Samex Capital Partners LLC and Samex Capital Advisors LLC said Hauke "misled investors by failing to inform them that the funds they were investing would be converted to his personal use."

"Hauke employed a device, scheme or artifice to defraud investors of Samex Partners ..." the complaint says. "Specifically, he sold investments, in the form of hedge fund interests, to investors under the guise that the hedge fund invested in liquid publicly traded securities."

In addition, the complaint says Hauke "intentionally received funds from the bank accounts of Samex Partners that were illegally converted from investors."
While Hauke is not a big-time money manager, he has been very visible. He has contributed a regular column to the Indianapolis Business Journal and has been a frequent guest on Fox Business News and CNBC. According to the IBJ's website, he served on Mayor Greg Ballard's transition team. It is noteworthy that the whistle blower has opened up a business in competition with Hauke, who through his attorney claims has been pilfering clients from Hauke since his departure. "Hauke’s lawyer, Larry Mackey of Barnes & Thornburg, said in an e-mail that the complaint was filed by a 'former and disgruntled' employee who had previously never raised any concerns with Hauke," the IBJ reported. "Mackey said Noble subsequently sent an e-mail to all of Hauke’s clients soliciting their business for his new financial advising firm." "Noble denied he is trying to drum up business for his new firm, Ternion." "I did not do this to pilfer clients," he said. "I did this because there were documents that showed really bad things."

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