La Securities and Exchange Commission, l'Autorité de marché des États-Unis a publié un communiqué de presse dans lequel elle annonce l'interdiction de Barry C. Ziskin, un conseiller en investissement basé en Arizona pour avoir effectué des actions frauduleuses lors de l'effondrement de Z Seven Fund, un fonds communs de placement.
L'accusé n'aurait pas suivi les objectifs de placement d'un fonds commun géré par Top Fund Management, son entreprise, ce qui conduit à l'effondrement du fonds.
L'accusé aurait également trompé les investisseurs de ZSF en falsifiant un rapport aux actionnaires.
An SEC investigation found that the prospectus of Z Seven Fund (ZSF) stated that it sought long-term capital appreciation and restricted the use of options. Nonetheless, beginning in September 2009, Barry C. Ziskin and his firm Top Fund Management (TFM) invested ZSF in put options for speculative purposes contrary to the fund’s stated investment policy. The losses from options trading and the ensuing investor redemptions ultimately resulted in ZSF’s liquidation in December 2010.
“ZSF investors expected the fund to pursue capital appreciation by buying stocks, but TFM and Ziskin took the fund down a very different and disastrous path,” said Bruce Karpati, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit. “Mutual fund advisers who deviate from their fund’s investment strategy and keep investors in the dark will be held accountable for their fraudulent actions.”
According to the SEC’s order instituting settled administrative proceedings against TFM and Ziskin, disclosures in ZSF’s prospectuses and statements of additional information provided that the fund could trade options only to hedge its portfolio. However, because TFM and Ziskin traded put options in such large amounts relative to the size of ZSF’s equity portfolio, their strategy amounted to speculation. For example, ZSF’s equity portfolio had a market value of $1,835,607 on July 6, 2010, but ZSF held enough option contracts to protect a portfolio worth $32,858,000 (17.9 times the value of the equity portfolio). ZSF’s options trading also caused the fund’s performance to plummet. As of October 2009, ZSF had net assets of $5.3 million, but over the next 15 months the fund suffered $3.7 million in losses from options. TFM and Ziskin misled ZSF investors by misrepresenting in a shareholder report that options trading was for hedging purposes.
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