A U.S. hedge fund manager who has been a fugitive for over a year was found in Greece Tuesday, according to CNNMoney.com.
Angelo Haligiannis, former president of New York-based Sterling Watters Capital Advisors, admitted to defrauding investors out of millions of dollars. He was allowed to remain free while U.S. authorities prepare an extradition request, which could take place this week, police said.
Haligiannis pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in U.S. federal court in September 2005. He was indicted in 2004 for “dramatically overstating” the assets under management and fund performance over four years to 2003 and bilking investors out of “tens of millions of dollars” according to court papers.
Haligiannis told investors that his funds managed $180 million in 2003, and the fund achieved returns of 1,565 % between 1996 and 2003, according to the indictment. Due to the claims, Haligiannis was able to raise $26 million from around 80 investors.
However, the fund suffered losses of more than $17 million in 2000 alone. By January 2003, the firm had assets of less than $170,000 and “did virtually no trading whatsoever,” the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
Haligiannis was free on bail and failed to appear at a sentencing hearing in New York in January 2006 and has been the target of an international manhunt since then.
A federal judge in New York granted the SEC a summary judgment in January regarding Haligiannis, which stated it would require him to pay $15.6 million, plus a civil penalty of $15 million.
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