.

Ridgefield Men Charged with Securities, Wire Fraud

U.S. Attorney David Fein announced the arrest of three Fairfield County men employed by a Ridgefield-based hedge fund Tuesday.

Three Fairfield County men who were employed by a Ridgefield-based hedge fund have been charged with conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud, U.S. Attorney David Fein announced Tuesday.

According to the 19-count indictment, Bart Gutekunst, 61, of Weston and Ridgefield residents David Bryson, 44, and Richard Pereira, 40, worked for New Stream Capital LLC, and defrauded its largest investor in order to keep those investments secured. 

“As alleged, fearing the loss of their fund’s largest investor, these defendants orchestrated a scheme to deceive investors in order to obtain and maintain investments,” Fein said in a press release. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our many partners on the Connecticut Securities, Commodities and Investor Fraud Task Force are committed to protecting investors and the integrity of American capital markets.”

The men—who each pleaded not guilty—are each charged with one count of conspiracy, 10 counts of securities fraud and eight counts of wire fraud, according to the release. 

"The conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and the securities fraud and wire fraud charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count," according to the release. 

FBI Agent Kimberly Metz was also involved in handing down the indictment.

“It goes without saying that investing carries certain risks,” Mertz said in the release. “Those risks, however, should not include any chance that hedge fund managers or other investment professionals are lying to or deceiving their investors about the current state of investments. Investors have a right to full disclosure. Today’s arrests underscore the FBI’s continuing commitment to investigate those who provide material misrepresentations to investors.”

The indictment alleges the hedge fund launched a Cayman Islands fund and a U.S. fund in November 2007, at the same time it announced an existing Bermuda fund would be closing and investors needed to move money from that fund to the Cayman Islands fund. 

Upon this announcement, New Stream's largest investor placed a redemption on its whole investment in the Bermuda fund, according to the release.

"At risk of losing their largest investor, it is alleged that Bryson, Gutekunst and Pereira set in motion a scheme to secretly keep the Bermuda dund open and give priority to Bermuda Fund investors in an effort to reverse the redemption," according to the release. "As part of the scheme, Bryson, Gutekunst and Pereira had New Stream staff secretly reorganize the fund structure so as to effectuate the priority change."

"The indictment further alleges that New Stream failed to inform investors who had transferred from the Bermuda Fund into the Cayman fund that the Bermuda fund was remaining open or that it was being given priority over the Cayman fund," according to the release. "Moreover, New Stream continued to market New Stream to investors by concealing from them the magnitude of the actual pending redemptions and by using deceptive marketing materials that failed to disclose the existence of New Stream’s Bermuda fund."

Bryson and Gutekunst were released on $5 million bonds and Pereira was released on a $300,000 bond, according to the release.

sharron lavatori February 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Lray for their families and their souls
oldtimer February 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Oh,No! Not our townies! We do not conduct ourselves in this manner in Ridgefield. What will the world think? For shame! Must go hide and denounce residency ASAP.
Eileen February 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Who would have thunk it? Bermuda Fund? Cayman Fund? Lol. Just gives credence to the saying, "Ridgefield...living well on others people's money."
Harvey Goldstein February 27, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Republicans, UGH!
rebel patriot February 27, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Yeah right Harvey, it's only Rep's that are dishonest. Of course we all know Dem's are angels:-)
Teri February 27, 2013 at 03:35 PM
I've been reporting on Bryson and New Stream since 2009 at multiple publications including Forbes. The sad news for investors is the FBI started investigating in 09 yet they arrest now. After the fund filed bankruptcy and the investors got five cents on the dollar? http://www.teribuhl.com/2013/02/26/new-stream-hedge-fund-executives-charged-with-criminal-fraud/ Bryson is a member of the Ridgefield country club. I wonder what member reactions are.
socialhostlaw February 27, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Arrests are not equivalent to guilt. Bart Gutekunst has always been a man of integrity and I am confident was not knowingly party to any illegalities. Judge on the evidence, not the accusations.
Teri February 27, 2013 at 03:54 PM
The DOJ and the SEC complaint have emails from Bart showing his role in the alleged fraud. He was very much involved according to multiple New Stream investors I've interviewed and reported on over the last few years.
Teri February 27, 2013 at 03:55 PM
David's wife Kristin does PR and apparently uses the patch to get stories on her clients out http://stamford.patch.com/announcements/national-intellectual-property-expert-eric-osterberg-opens-new-law-firm-in-stamford
Teri February 27, 2013 at 04:01 PM
New Stream was sued for charging more than CA usury laws allowed in this deal. They settled and lost any interest payments for their clients. Then sold the property at auction last month for about half their investment. Meanwhile fund documents show Bryson charged their investors fees for an asset that did not have the value they said it did. http://www.forbes.com/sites/teribuhl/2010/09/24/hedge-fund-seizing-l-a-radio-moguls-huge-estate/
Diane February 27, 2013 at 05:26 PM
As someone new to this story, it's even more interesting.
Teri March 19, 2013 at 06:07 PM
The is a new report out this week about more possible investor fraud by the New Stream executives. http://www.teribuhl.com/2013/03/19/hedgie-greg-imbruce-under-investigation-by-ct-banking-commision/

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »