SEC Freezes Assets of Westridge Capital Management, WG Investors, LP, WG Trading Company, LP, and Money Managers Stephen Walsh and Paul Greenwood Over Alleged Misappropriation of Up to $554 Million in Investor Funds

The Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing money managers Stephen Walsh and Paul Greenwood, along with their affiliated entities Westridge Capital Management, WG TRADING Company, LP, and WG Investors, LP, of orchestrating an investment fraud scam that has resulted in the misappropriation of some $554 million in investor assets.

According to the SEC, Greenwood and Walsh told investors that their money was going to be placed in a stock index arbitrage strategy, but instead, they used the funds to buy luxury cars, multi-million dollar residences, a horse farm and horses, rare collectibles, as well as pay for other personal expenses. The SEC has obtained an asset freeze against the two money managers and their affiliated entities.

The SEC’s complaint accuses Walsh and Greenwood, through their three affiliated entities, of violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The SEC is seeking a permanent enjoinment of the defendants from committing future violations of the federal securities laws and wants them to pay penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and prejudgment interest.

Meantime, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed charges against Walsh, Greenwood, and their affiliated entities, while the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed criminal charges against the two money managers, who have both been arrested.

Because a number of prominent consulting firms recommended the money managers and their affiliated entities to pension and endowment groups, these investors now stand to loose millions. Wilshire Associates, Mercer, and Cambridge Associates are three of the consulting firms that made such recommendations.

For example, the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System made its multi-million dollar investment after Mercer highly recommended WG Trading and Westridge. Kern County Employees’ Retirement Association in California and the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System invested their money after Wilshire recommended Westridge.

Consulting firms play a huge role in the investment business. One reason is that they give advice to hundreds of institutional investors on where to place their money. The money managers they recommend can end up making millions of dollars, while the clients pay consulting firms either a small percentage of the assets invested or a flat fee for a contract lasting a number of years.

Related Web Resources:
Consultants Touted Firm Accused in Fraud, The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2009
SEC Charges Two New York Residents For Misappropriating More Than $500 Million in Investment Scheme, SEC, February 25, 2009
Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)

Our investment fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP are committed to representing individuals, institutional investors, and other investors who are victims of stockbroker fraud. We are zealous about helping our clients get their money back.