U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19581 / February 28, 2006
SEC v. Kirk S. Wright, International Management Associates, LLC; International Management Associates Advisory Group, LLC; International Management Associates Platinum Group, LLC; International Management Associates Emerald Fund, LLC; International Management Associates Taurus Fund, LLC; International Management Associates Growth & Income Fund, LLC; International Management Associates Sunset Fund, LLC; Platinum II Fund, LP; and Emerald II Fund, LP, Civil Action No. 1:06-CV-0438 (NDGA February 27, 2006)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) announced that on February 27, 2006, it filed a complaint and an emergency application for a temporary restraining order and other relief in the Northern District of Georgia to halt an ongoing offering fraud involving the sale of investments in seven hedge funds by an Atlanta-based promoter and investment advisers controlled by him. The defendants are Kirk S. Wright (Wright); International Management Associates, LLC (IMA) and International Management Associates Advisory Group, LLC (IMA Advisory) and seven hedge funds; International Management Associates Platinum Group, LLC (Platinum I), International Management Associates Emerald Fund, LLC (Emerald Fund), International Management Associates Taurus Fund, LLC, International Management Associates Growth & Income Fund, LLC, International Management Associates Sunset Fund, LLC; Platinum II Fund, LP (Platinum II), and Emerald II Fund, LP. IMA and IMA Advisory are investment advisers in Atlanta, Georgia, owned and operated by Wright and others.
The Complaint alleges that from February 1997 to the present, approximately $115 million, and as much as $185 million, was raised from up to 500 investors through the fraudulent investment scheme. IMA and IMA Advisory, through Wright, have been providing investors with quarterly statements that misrepresented both the amount of assets in the respective funds and the rates of return obtained by them. In fact, by 2005, the assets of the funds had been largely dissipated, and this fact was not disclosed to the investors of the funds. The Complaint further alleges that Wright produced for certain investors account statements purportedly from a securities broker-dealer, showing over $155 million in securities in four accounts for August 2005, when in fact the first three accounts did not exist, and the fourth account number pertained to an account unrelated to the defendants. The Complaint also alleges that account statements and summaries which Wright displayed to an investor's representative reflecting the balances of Platinum I, Platinum II and Emerald Funds as of December 30, 2005 were fabricated and reflected assets which the funds did not possess at that time.
On February 27, 2006, the Honorable Charles A. Pannell, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, entered an order temporarily restraining and enjoining the defendants from future violations of Sections 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and enjoining Wright, IMA, and IMA Advisory from future violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The order also appointed a receiver for all of the defendants except Wright, and provides for expedited discovery and prohibits destruction of documents. The Commission seeks permanent injunctions against future violations, an accounting and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest and civil penalties.