Fairfield Greenwich Starts Covering Its Tracks

Fairfield Greenwich Group has removed the name of its Brazilian sales rep from its web site after getting questions about her from the Wall Street Journal.

The rep, Bianca Haegler, is FGG founder Walter Noel’s niece. She is apparently not licensed to sell investment products in Brazil. Actively marketing offshore funds is also illegal in Brazil.

WSJ: One large fund that fed billions to Mr. Madoff, the Fairfield Greenwich Group, had a Brazilian presence. According to Fairfield’s Web site, it employed a representative in Brazil, Bianca Haegler, who is the niece of the fund’s founder Walter Noel. Mr. Noel’s wife, Monica, comes from a wealthy family in Rio de Janeiro with Swiss roots and whose members appear frequently in the society pages…

Several messages and emails left at the Haegler investment company, located in a Rio office tower that also houses hedge funds and money managers, weren’t returned. According to Brazil’s market regulator, Ms. Haegler wasn’t registered to sell investments in Brazil. Following inquiries about Ms. Haegler, Fairfield removed her name from its Web site.

Actively marketing an off-shore fund in Brazil is illegal. However, officials with Brazil’s regulator said this month they had received no complaints about Fairfield and didn’t plan to investigate. “If a billionaire loses money in New York, that is not our affair,” said Carlos Alberto Rebello, a CVM official.

Why isn’t Brazil’s securities regulator likely to get complaints about FGG? Because rich Brazilians who ship money offshore usually don’t tell the Brazilian tax folks about it. Standing up and announcing that you have been burned by Bernie wouldn’t be the best way to remain incognito.

See Also: Bernie Madoff’s Victims: The Slideshow

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