Fund manager Forte facing criminal charges

21 January 2009

Prosecutors in Philadelphia have filed criminal charges against John S Forte, the fund manager accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of running a $50 million investment fraud.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr Forte faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 penalty if convicted.

He is accused of sending falsified quarterly results to an accountant who used the figures to draw up investor reports. In September 2008, Mr Forte is alleged to have valued his fund, MF Global, at $154.7 million. The balance of its trading account at the time was $146,814.

At the same time, prosecutors say he solicited cash from investors but instead of trading on futures as promised, he used new investments to pay out returns.

Mr Forte is also accused of paying himself "millions" in fees in an attempt to "maintain the fund's illusion of profitability", an affidavit said.

The SEC filed civil charges against Mr Forte on January 8th.

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