Today the Securities and Exchange Commission charged hedge fund billionaire Phil Falcone and his Harbinger Capital Partners with securities fraud.
The regulatory agency alleges that Falcone and his fund engaged in “illicit conduct that included misappropriation of client assets, market manipulation and betraying clients,” the release said.
“This has to be the first case involving an act of supposed dishonesty in which a client simply followed the advice of his lawyer. The notion that Mr. Falcone committed a fraud in connection with the loan from a Harbinger fund is unsupportable. The loan was obtained after receiving considered written legal advice from a leading national law firm on the basis of fully disclosed facts; that same firm proposed the idea of the loan, structured the transaction, documented it, advised on the timing and form of disclosure to investors, and explained it when investors made inquiries. The investors were fully paid back with interest. As the SEC well knows and the Court will soon learn, the notion propagated by the SEC that investors were harmed by that conduct or any other is not only irresponsible but completely unsupported by any evidence. The other matters are equally without merit and will all be vigorously defended in the courthouse.”
When Kevin Roose and Jessica Pressler at Daily Intel asked Falcone about the charges he responded via email “Piece of cake,” adding, “It’s not like I’m having a heart transplant.”