Archegos Capital Management founder Bill Hwang arrested on billion-dollar fraud charges

The landlord of a New York-based hedge fund that collapsed when it defaulted on margin calls was once arrested Wednesday on fees alleging he defrauded main world funding banks and brokerages of billions of greenbacks by way of telling them lies so his non-public funding company may develop its portfolio from $10 billion to $160 billion.

The costs unsealed in an indictment in New york federal court docket named Sung Kook “Invoice” Hwang, the founding father of Archegos Capital Control, and his former leader monetary officer, Patrick Halligan. Each had been anticipated to seem later within the day in court docket. They face racketeering conspiracy and fraud fees.

Hwang performed the alleged fraud from March 2020 to March 2021 by way of initially making an investment his private fortune, which grew from $1.5 billion to over $35 billion, and later the investments he borrowed from primary banks and brokerages, which grew from about $10 billion to over $160 billion, the indictment claimed.

He concealed the level of his marketplace prowess from traders by way of the usage of spinoff securities that had no public disclosure requirement, it alleged.

“Because of this, regardless of the scale of Archegos’s positions, the making an investment public didn’t know that Archegos had come to dominate the buying and selling and inventory possession of more than one corporations,” the indictment stated.

The dangerous maneuvers made the company’s portfolio extremely at risk of value fluctuations in a handful of shares, inflicting a flurry of margin calls in past due March 2021 that had a damaging domino impact. Over $100 billion in marketplace price disappeared in days for just about a dozen corporations, and banks and top agents duped by way of Archegos misplaced billions, the indictment stated.

Thousands and thousands in losses for staff

It stated the schemes additionally led to hundreds of thousands of greenbacks in losses for blameless Archegos staff who were required to allocate to the company a great deal of their pay as deferred reimbursement.

Separate civil fees towards Hwang and Halligan had been introduced by way of the Securities and Change Fee.

In a unencumber, SEC Chair Gary Gensler stated, “The cave in of Archegos final spring demonstrated how actions by way of one company may have far-reaching implications for traders and marketplace individuals.”

“We allege that Hwang and Archegos propped up a $36 billion area of playing cards by way of attractive in a continuing cycle of manipulative buying and selling, mendacity to banks to procure further capability, after which the usage of that capability to interact in nonetheless extra manipulative buying and selling,” stated Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Department of Enforcement.

“However the home of playing cards may simplest be sustained if that cycle of misleading buying and selling, lies and purchasing energy persisted uninterrupted, and as soon as Archegos’s purchasing energy was once exhausted and inventory costs fell, all the construction collapsed, allegedly leaving Archegos’s counterparties billions in buying and selling losses,” Grewal stated.

Hwang’s lawyer, Lawrence Lustberg, stated attorneys had been “extraordinarily dissatisfied” with a prosecution that they consider has “completely no factual or felony foundation.”

“A prosecution of this kind, for open-market transactions, is exceptional and threatens all traders,” he stated in a written remark. “As you are going to see when the info spread, Invoice Hwang is fully blameless of any wrongdoing; there is not any proof in any way that he dedicated any more or less crime, let by myself the overblown allegations that pervade this indictment.”

Lustberg stated it was once additionally disappointing that Hwang was once arrested with out understand despite the fact that he “has made himself to be had and entirely cooperated with the Executive’s investigation.”

“We vehemently dispute the costs as an issue of legislation and reality and are assured that we can succeed in Court docket, however in no tournament was once an arrest vital on this case, in the middle of an investigation that has long past on for greater than a 12 months and it appears stays ongoing,” he wrote.

Legal professional Mary Mulligan, representing Halligan, stated: “Pat Halligan is blameless and might be exonerated.”

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