The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Detroit-based investment advisory firm and a portfolio manager for deceiving the trustees of a money market fund and failing to comply with rules that limit risk in a money market fund’s portfolio. Money market funds seek to maintain a stable share price by investing in highly safe securities. Under the federal securities laws, a money market fund may only invest in securities determined by the fund’s board of trustees to present minimal credit risk.
The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Ambassador Capital Management and Derek Oglesby repeatedly made false statements to trustees of the Ambassador Money Market Fund about the credit risk in the securities they purchased for its portfolio. Trustees also were misled about the fund’s exposure to the Eurozone credit crisis of 2011 and the diversification of the fund’s portfolio.
“Money market fund managers must not hide the ball from a fund’s board,” said George S. Canellos, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “Ambassador Capital Management and Oglesby weren’t truthful about whether securities in the portfolio threatened to destabilize the fund, and they failed to operate under the strict conditions designed for money market fund managers to limit risk exposure and maintain a stable price.”
The enforcement action stems from an ongoing analysis of money market fund data by the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, in this case a review of the gross yield of funds as a marker of risk. The performance of the Ambassador Money Market Fund was identified as consistently different from the rest of the market. Upon further examination by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, the matter was referred to the Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit for investigation.
For more information - SEC.gov | SEC Announces Fraud Charges Against Detroit-Based Money Market Fund Manager
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