A former attorney turned Las Vegas hedge fund manager has reaped the biggest gains so far in the unfolding mutual fund scandal, the SEC charged.

Daniel Calugar, 49, who took $175 million in ill-gotten gains, saw $50 million of the money frozen late last month when he tried to wire-transfer it.

Calugar closed shop two weeks after New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced what some media reports are calling Spitzer's "sensational" investigation into the mutual fund industry, including Calugar partner Alliance Capital. (See "Alliance e-mails on Timing Also Incriminated Vice Chair," MME 12/18/03).

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