Hedge fund manager David Einhorn has scored the ultimate victory

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn has scored the ultimate victory in his almost 10-year long short of Florida-based real estate developer and landowner The St. Joe Company.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said he was spot on.

On Tuesday, the SEC charged St. Joe, three former top execs, and two former accounting department directors with improper accounting of its residential real estate developments during the financial crisis.

As a result, the SEC found that by failing to take writedowns for properties hit hard by the financial crisis, the company materially overstated its earnings and assets in 2009 and 2010.

This is exactly what the Greenlight Capital founder highlighted in his October 2010 presentation at the Value Investing Congress — the same event where he gave his famous speech on Lehman Brothers three years prior.

After being short the stock since 2006, Einhorn recently covered his position for a nice profit.

During the third quarter, he covered at $US17.17, he wrote in an investor letter. He had shorted St. Joe’s at $US39.90.

“After being short for almost 10 years, we decided to declare victory and move on, even though the shares remain somewhat overvalued,” Einhorn wrote.

The SEC’s order gives Einhorn the ultimate victory: not only did he make money, but the SEC gave him credit multiple times in its filing, even if it wasn’t by name. [Hat Tip: Matt Levine]

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