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Berton Hochfeld Charged With Securities Fraud and Wire Fraud

Berton Hochfeld, manager of Hochfeld Capital Management LLC, was charged with securities fraud and wire fraud for allegedly stealing more than $1 million from investors.

Hochfeld, 66, of Stamford, Connecticut, was arrested at his home there this morning, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. He faces as long as 40 years in prison if convicted of both of the crimes he’s charged with.

“Berton Hochfeld and others like him who allegedly use their businesses to lure and deceive investors and then steal their money will not be tolerated by this office,” Bharara said.

Hochfeld’s business, which had a Park Avenue office in New York, functioned as general partner of the Heppelwhite Fund from which he allegedly took investor money for his own use from April 2011 to October of this year, according to a criminal complaint unsealed today.

A private placement memorandum for the fund promised it would not make loans or purchase debt obligations issued by Hochfeld Capital Management or its principals, according to the complaint.

The fund’s value was falsely inflated in monthly statements Hochfeld provided to its investors to conceal his withdrawals, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Michael Howard said in the sworn complaint.

Hochfeld made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck in New York, Bharara said.

“Mr. Hochfeld looks forward to resolving the matter promptly,” his attorney, Roland Riopelle, said in a telephone interview. He declined to comment further.

The case is U.S. v. Hochfeld, 12-mj-2897, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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