A Cambridge hedge fund had their assets frozen yesterday by the SEC on charges of fraud and setting up a fake firm.
The SEC’s complaint alleged that Andrey Hicks was raising money from investors for his quantitative hedge fund, Locus Offshore Management and moving it into his own bank account for personal use. He had raised around $1.7 million when the SEC stepped in.
According to the SEC, Hicks had told potential investors that he had an undergraduate and graduate degree from Harvard, work experience at Barclays and that the fund already had $1.2 billion in assets under management.
And in fact, Hicks’ LinkedIn profile says he obtained an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Harvard in 2005, and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics in 2007. His LinkedIn resume also links to Locust’s website, a marketing firm’s site, and a Wikipedia page for himself that had been deleted.
Hicks told the Boston Business Journal yesterday that the fund was real and investing money, and that he was a Harvard alum. But when the Boston Business Journal called Harvard, a spokesperson could not confirm that Hicks had graduated.
The SEC also alleged that Hicks made bold and fake claims about his own skills, such as the fact that Locust Fund used mathematical models he developed at Harvard and that he had generated double his book’s value while working as a trader for Barclays.
There is some element of truth to Hicks’ story – he did matriculate at Harvard. But, the SEC said Hicks only completed three semesters and had to withdraw twice for academic probation. He took one maths course – and received a D-.
Courthouse News has the SEC complaint, filed in Massachusetts District Court.