Ex-Hedge-Fund Manager Hochfeld Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Former Hochfeld Capital Management manager Berton Hochfeld pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud charges related to an investment scheme, U.S. prosecutors said.

Hochfeld, 66, who managed the $6 million Hepplewhite Fund, admitted in a hearing yesterday before U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty that he stole more than $1 million from investors, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan.

Prosecutors said Hochfeld withdrew the money from the fund for his personal use. The fund’s value was falsely inflated in monthly statements Hochfeld provided to its investors to conceal his withdrawals, they said. He told investors at a meeting in October that he spent the money on antiques and vacations, according to the government.

As part of a plea agreement, Hochfeld agreed to forfeit the money he stole and to pay restitution to his victims. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 27.

The case is U.S. v. Hochfeld, 12-mj-02897, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).