The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Connecticut banking commission have sued a Connecticut hedge fund manager with fraud.
The SEC and Connecticut Banking Commissioner Howard Pitkin charged Southridge Capital Management LLC and its chief executive officer, Stephen M. Hicks, with defrauding investors in million of undeserved fees.
According to a filing in federal court in Connecticut Monday, the SEC alleged that Hicks overvalued the largest position held by funds managed by Southridge and Southridge Advisors LLC. The SEC also said he made material misrepresentations to investors and misused their money to pay legal and administrative expenses of other funds managed by Hicks and Southridge.
The SEC said Hicks falsely valued Southridge's largest holding, speech recognition company Fonix Corp, at $30 million or more based almost entirely on a 2004 transaction in which Fonix bought two companies from an entity he controlled.
The SEC also alleged that Hick also fraudulently misled investors in funds he solicited beginning in late 2003. According to the SEC, he raised nearly $80 million from 2004 through 2007.
Connecticut alleged a majority of Southridge's investors had requested redemptions, with some requests dating to 2001, but the firm did not honor them.
The state of Connecitcut is seeking a 10-year ban on Hicks engaging in investment activities.