May 30, 2012 / 12:52 PM / 5 years ago

Hedge fund boss found guilty of $600m fraud

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - Magnus Peterson, the boss of collapsed hedge fund business Weavering, has been found guilty of fraud and breach of duty of care towards investors in a civil case at London’s High Court.

Mrs Justice Proudman ruled Peterson, manager of the W eavering Macro Fixed Income fund, deceived clients with a strategy that could not cope with the vagaries of markets at the height of the global credit crisis.

Three other directors at the fund firm -- Edward Platt, Charanpreet Dabhia and Peterson’s wife Amanda -- were found guilty of negligently permitting fraud to happen. The three, together with Peterson, were found jointly and severally liable.

“I do not accept Mr Peterson’s assertions that the investors understood his strategy very well. He cannot show any document in which he explained it,” the judge wrote in her judgment.

The liquidators of the collapsed hedge fund business, who launched the case, intend to claim damages of at least $450 million, according to the judgment.

The outcome of the long-standing case comes a day after the FSA doled out a record fine to Italian academic-turned-fund manager Alberto Micalizzi, in a sign authorities are clamping down on hedge fund bosses.

Liquidators of Weavering, which inflicted hundreds of millions of losses on investors, launched a civil case a gainst Peterson and other Weavering staff last year after Britain’s Serious Fraud Office dropped its probe into the 2009 collapse.

The case centred on more than $600 million of interest rate swap agreements between the Macro fund and a British Virgin Islands company called Weavering Capital Fund (WCF), which was related to Weavering.

Robert Anderson QC, representing the liquidators, alleged Peterson misled investors by concealing the fund’s investments in the swaps. Throughout the case, Peterson denied lying to investors.

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