The Securities and Exchange Commission told a judge in Boston on Tuesday that a news release it issued on an advisor accused of a fake hedge fund scheme would not taint the advisor’s separate criminal trial on a tax matter.
Reuters reported that U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf had ordered SEC attorney Julie Riewe to explain why her comments about the advisor, Gregg Caplitz, did not violate a rule prohibiting lawyers from making “extrajudicial statements” that could taint a jury pool.
As AdvisorOne reported, Caplitz, of Insight Onsite Strategic Management in Wilmington, Mass., has had his assets frozen by the SEC, which alleges he stole client funds by telling them they were investing in a hedge fund. The fund was nonexistent.
As Reuters reported, Caplitz is also a defendant in a separate criminal tax case in the same federal court district; that is slated for trial in September.
In his letter to Riewe, Wolf wrote that she should “address whether she was aware when she made her statement that Gregg D. Caplitz is also a defendant in a pending criminal case … and whether she or the SEC have communicated or cooperated with government agents,” Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, the SEC told Wolf on Tuesday that the statement “was reviewed and approved by Ms. Riewe’s supervisors” and that it would not violate the court’s rules because “it does not go beyond the public record and therefore cannot impact the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”