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7 Apr 2009

SEC Halts Canada/China Hedge Fund Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a restraining order yesterday to halt an on-going multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. The SEC says that Defendant, Toronto hedge fund manager Weizhen Tang, orchestrated the fraud through an overseas hedge fund and a Texas-based investment adviser.

U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle granted a temporary restraining order, asset freeze, and other emergency relief against the Defendants, including the appointment of a receiver to take control of assets belonging to the Investment Adviser and two Relief Defendants — WinWin Capital Partners, LP, and Bluejay Investment, LLC, d/b/a Vintage International Investment, LLC.

The fraud began as early as 2004, and through the hedge fund Tang raised between $50 million and $75 million from more than 200 investors. According to the SEC complaint, Weizhen Tang (the self-described “Chinese Warren Buffet”) recently admitted to investors that the hedge fund operated as a Ponzi scheme since at least 2006.

Tang specifically targeted members of the Chinese-American community and solicited U.S. investors to directly and indirectly invest in the hedge fund, according to the SEC.

In addition to the emergency relief granted by the Court, the SEC wants permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties against the Defendants.

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