11/28/2012

FBI Probe Turns Up Heat on Investment Shop

The FBI has raided investment manager Fairhills Capital.

While it remains unclear what government agents were looking for when they showed up at the firmís headquarters a few days before Thanksgiving, the investigation adds to a list of recent troubles for the White Plains, N.Y., operation.

In October, Fairhills terminated its status as an SEC-registered investment advisor, and is rumored to have dismissed a number of executives in recent weeks. The firm apparently is in debt to several service providers and lawyers. In its last SEC filing, Fairhills reported having just $25 million of assets under management.

Whatís more, the SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Fairhills in August accusing the outfit of improperly pocketing more than $10 million by buying penny stocks and then selling them to investors without submitting required registration statements. That complaint, lodged with the U.S. District Court in New York, also names Fairhills founder Ed Bronson and an equity-finance company he owns called E-Lionheart Associates as defendants.

Fairhills formed in 2002 to manage money for the family of Bronson, a former telecommunications entrepreneur. Bronson began repositioning the firm as a hedge fund manager in early 2012, opening its investment-management services to outside backers.

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