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11 Apr 2008

UK Hedge Fund Faces SEC Lawsuit

UK hedge fund Headstart Advisers Ltd. is facing a SEC suit alleging the hedge fund earned $198m in profits by manipulating U.S. mutual funds through late-trading and deceptive market-timing practices from 1998 through to 2003.

The suit, filed on Thursday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is the second one this week filed against a British hedge fund for allegedly orchestrating a scheme to defraud US mutual funds.

In the civil action suit, filed in New York, the SEC said that Headstart and Najy Nasser, its then chief investment adviser, illegally profited by buying and selling mutual funds more frequently than allowed, sometimes after prices had been closed for the day.

Headstart had assets under management of at least $500m, according to the SEC filing.