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MA Fund Manager Made Ponzi Payments, Defrauded Investors - SEC
[Photo: Charles Ponzi]
Yasuna Murakami, a Massachusetts-based hedge fund manager, was charged by the SEC with making Ponzi-like payments and taking investor funds to pay for personal travel, meals, and credit card bills. Murakami's business partner, Avi Chiat, is also charged in the SEC complaint. In a parallel criminal action, the U.S. Attorney's Office charged Murakami with one count of wire fraud.
According to the SEC Compliant, … Murakami misappropriated more than $8 million for business and personal expenses and made approximately $1.3 million in Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors as purported investment gains. Chait helped Murakami raise money from investors. He also provided fabricated account statements that grossly overstated investment performance while investors were losing millions of dollars due to unprofitable trading and Murakami's misappropriation of funds.
Named as relief defendants in the SEC complaint were their Cambridge-based investment advisory businesses - MC2 Capital Management and MC2 Canada Capital Management.
The SEC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten monetary gains plus interest, penalties, and permanent injunctions.