Ex-Fund Manager Who Posed as Boss Pleads Guilty to Perjury

A former fund manager who posed as his boss when investigators called a New Jersey investment firm admitted he lied to them during an insider-trading probe.

Steven Hart, 43, pleaded guilty to one count each of perjury and obstruction of justice Friday in Manhattan federal court. He faces as long as five years in prison on each count.

Hart admitted lying during sworn testimony before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and during the regulator’s 2009 investigation into whether he conducted improper “match trades” or “cross trades” between a fund he managed and his personal fund, Octagon Capital Partners. The investment firm where he worked wasn’t identified in court.

Hart also intercepted an SEC subpoena directed to the firm and posed as the president and as another employee when an SEC attorney phoned seeking information.

“I did not want my employer to know about my trading or that I was being investigated by the SEC out of fear that I would lose my job,” Hart told U.S. District Judge Katherine Failla.

Failla set Hart’s sentencing for July 2. As part of his plea agreement, he won’t appeal any sentence of 18 months or less.

The case is U.S. v. Hart, 15-cr-00084, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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