Humane Society Charges Investment Fraud

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December 7, 2010; Source: Courthouse News Service | It’s bad enough when human clients suffer fraud at the hands of unscrupulous money managers. But what can you say about misdeeds that literally take food out of the mouths of animals? The Humane Society of the United States has filed suit in federal court claiming that it lost $240,000 because a money manager fraudulently backdated one of the group’s investments.

The society said that it gave Manchester Capital Management $5 million to invest in November 2008. But in court papers, the group alleges that the money manager changed the investment date to October, the same month the fund the money was invested in had suffered losses.

In its complaint filed in Rutland, Vt. federal court, the society claims that because of the poor October performance of the he Equinox Alternative Offshore Fund, “Manchester’s backdating of the Humane Society of the United State’s $5 million investment immediately reduced its initial value by approximately $240,000, a loss of about 4.8% in the principal, which in turn caused the loss of future gains attributable to the initial $240,000 loss.” The Humane Society is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages from Manchester Capital Management.—Bruce Trachtenberg