U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22908A / January 23, 2014
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Berton M. Hochfeld, et al., Civil Action No. 12-CV-8202 (S.D.N.Y.)
Final Judgments Entered Against Former Hedge Fund Manager and His Company
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on January 22, 2014, the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, entered final judgments against Berton M. Hochfeld (“Hochfeld”) and his wholly-owned entity Hochfeld Capital Management, L.L.C. (“HCM”), in SEC v. Hochfeld et al., 12-CV-8202. The SEC filed an emergency action in November 2012, charging Hochfeld and HCM with securities fraud for misappropriating assets and making material misstatements to investors in the Heppelwhite Fund L.P., a now defunct hedge fund. The Court previously entered judgments against Hochfeld and HCM that ordered, among other relief, injunctions and an asset freeze, and granted the Commission’s motion to create a Fair Fund to compensate defrauded investors. In October 2013, the Fair Fund made initial distributions, totaling more than $6 million, to 35 former Heppelwhite investors, which represented approximately 70% of each investor’s prior capital balance in the hedge fund. Pursuant to a Distribution Plan, the Fair Fund will make a second round of distributions to investors from additional funds collected, including proceeds from the sale of Hochfeld’s personal assets.
Hochfeld and HCM consented to entry of the final judgments, which enjoin them from violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 203 and 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and order disgorgement of $1,785,332, which will be deemed satisfied by the criminal forfeiture order entered against Hochfeld in a parallel criminal case filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In the criminal case, United States v. Hochfeld, 13-CR-021, Hochfeld pled guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud. The Court sentenced Hochfeld to a two-year prison term, which he is now serving, and ordered him to pay forfeiture and restitution totaling approximately $2.9 million.
The SEC thanks the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in this matter.