The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Robert Berlacher, a Philadelphia hedge fund manager, with raising more than $1.7 million in illegal profits on insider trading and improper short sales of companies that were conducting private capital raising deals.

Berlacher increased his compensation and the fund’s performance by conducting at least 10 private investments in public equity, or PIPE, deals, the SEC said. Berlacher, 53, obtained easy and illegal profits by engaging in short sales of companies by using PIPE deals and later covering the short positions with shares obtained in the PIPE deal, the SEC said.

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