The Congress party is debating holding a general election in November, six months ahead of schedule, senior party leaders said, reflecting an internal discussion over whether to pull the plug on the shaky ruling coalition or have it serve a full term. Full Article
- Winning ticket for $590.5 million Powerball lottery sold in Florida
- HSBC cuts gold, silver price forecasts for 2013, 2014
- Rod Stewart tops UK album chart for first time in 34 years
- S.Africa minister accuses Indian High Commission official in Gupta scandal
- Indian cinema on a mission at Cannes to dispel Bollywood image
Confused while buying stocks? Get buy, sell or hold recommendations from VantageTrade. Full Coverage
Fund manager charged in Groupon, Facebook scam
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fund manager accused of running an $11 million scam promoting phony access to coveted shares of Facebook and Groupon Inc before their public debut was arrested on criminal charges Thursday.
John Mattera, who ran the Praetorian Global Fund registered in the British Virgin Islands, spent nearly $4 million of the misappropriated money on personal expenses, including leasing luxury cars, buying jewelry, paying personal taxes and settling a private civil fraud lawsuit, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court.
Mattera, 50, was arrested at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by Internal Revenue Service agents. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement that it also filed civil charges against Mattera and several of his associates.
Mattera's lawyer, Carl Schoeppl, could not immediately be reached for comment. Mattera made an initial appearance in federal court in Florida, said the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office, which brought the charges.
The criminal complaint charged Mattera with securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted on charges involving false representations including those about Groupon, the daily deals website, social-networking company Facebook, and others. The companies are not accused of any wrongdoing.
Facebook is private but the popular website is being closely watched by investors as a potential candidate for an initial public offering next year. Groupon made its stock market debut on Nov. 4, closing up 31 percent on its first day of trading. On Thursday, the stock rose 0.9 percent to $24.25.
According to court documents, investors sent more than $11 million into what Mattera and others described as escrow accounts at a Florida bank. He is accused of telling investors that their money would be held until the IPO was completed.
But instead, Mattera transferred most of the money into entities that he controlled with an associate.
"As the complaint describes, Mattera told elaborate lies about stock he did not own and about how he would keep investors' money safe," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. "Instead, Mattera took the investors' money to fund his own extravagant lifestyle."
The case is USA v John A. Mattera, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-mag-2947.
(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Richard Chang)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this