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SEC Takes On America's Hedge Fund

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. (–How could you go wrong with a name like America’s Hedge Fund LLC?

Easily, it turns out.

A U.S. District Court judge in Brooklyn holds a hearing Tuesday [Nov. 9] to consider granting a preliminary injunction against Christian Kuretski, operator of America’s Hedge Fund LP, and Worldwide Partners LLC, the fund’s general partner, whom Securities and Exchange Commission officials say defrauded 60 investors by taking US$1.6 million of their money.

In a civil complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, SEC officials said Mr. Kuretski raised money from investors by telling them they were investing in a hedge fund and various penny stocks. He told them their investments were principal-guaranteed, that the “basket of various stocks” he was offering would generate risk-free annual returns of at least 12% and that they could withdraw money from their accounts.

But Mr. Kuretski refused to distribute or refund investors’ assets, and instead withdrew cash for himself, paid for personal expenses and financed unrelated businesses, all with the cash he raised from the unsuspecting investors in America’s Hedge Fund, according to the SEC complaint.

SEC officials said that brokerage and bank records show Mr. Kuretski spent the vast majority of investors’ money. The securities he did buy were purchased without any association with a broker-dealer.

A judge on Oct. 29 granted the SEC’s request for an emergency enforcement action, issuing a temporary restraining order freezing the assets of Mr. Kuretski, America’s Hedge Fund, Worldwide Partners and three other relief defendants, CK Holdings Inc., Kathleen Kuretski and Peter Kuretski.

SEC officials ultimately want the court to impose penalties on Christian Kuretski, including repaying investors and paying civil penalties.

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Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: [email protected].