The man who brought to light allegations of money laundering and wrong doing with the now-defunct New York Chocolate and Confections Company in Fulton is currently facing similar charges in California.
In early October, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought fraud charges San Francisco-based hedge fund manager Hausmann-Alain Banet and his firm Lion Capital Management. He reportedly stole more than a half-million dollars from a retired schoolteacher who thought she was investing her retirement savings in Banet’s hedge fund.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed against Banet and Lion Capital Management in federal court in San Francisco, Banet allegedly led the teacher to believe that his hedge fund would invest in the stock market using a long/short equity investing strategy.
Instead, Banet is accused of taking the teacher’s $550,000 investment and used it to pay unauthorized personal and business expenses, including his home mortgage, office rent, and staff salaries.
Banet also reportedly provided phony account statements showing non-existent investment gains and listing an independent administrator that performed no actual work for the fund.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced criminal charges against Banet.
According to the indictment, Banet faces charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture.
Ironically, Banet led the effort to expose corruption that led to the indictments of 23 individuals within the cocoa-bean sector of the Ivory Coast in 2008, including New York Chocolate board Chairman Louis Okaigni Okaigni, former CEO Jean-Claude Amon, and Treasurer Yalle Agbre. Each indictment included charges of embezzlement, breach of trust, looting of corporate assets, swindling, and forgery.
The indictments occurred in the Ivory Coast.
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