Hedge fund advisor Philip Falcone and his advisory fund Harbinger Capital have agreed to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in which they will pay more than $18 million and admit to wrongdoing, the SEC announced today. Falcone also consented to being barred from the securities industry for at least five years.
The SEC filed fraud charges against Falcone and Harbinger in June 2012 alleging conduct that included "misappropriation of client assets, market manipulation, and betraying clients."
The SEC specifically accused Falcone and Harbinger of "improperly [using] $113 million in fund assets to pay his personal taxes, secretly [favoring] certain customer redemption requests at the expense of other investors, and [conducting] an improper 'short squeeze' in bonds issued by a Canadian manufacturing company."
Andrew Ceresney, co-director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in the SEC statement that "Falcone and Harbinger engaged in serious misconduct that harmed investors, and their admissions leave no doubt that they violated the federal securities laws."
"Falcone" is essentially "being barred from the hedge fund industry," Ceresney said.
The settlement still must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.