SEC Wins Summary Judgment in Its Fraud Suit Against Investment Adviser Locke Capital and Its Principal, Leila C. Jenkins, Who Fabricated a Non-Existent “Massive Swiss Banking Client” to Attract Investors

Defendant Leila C. Jenkins (Jenkins) was the founder and sole owner of investment adviser Locke Capital Management, Inc. (Locke).  In 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought a civil enforcement action against Locke and Jenkins, alleging that they had fabricated a “massive Swiss banking client” to trick potential investors into believing that they had more than a billion dollars under management, when in fact they did not.  The initial misstatement of assets under management by the defendants, along with Jenkins’ clumsy efforts to conceal the deception, supported fraud and other charges under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island granted the SEC’s motion for summary judgment on all charges, directed the defendants to disgorge profits, imposed penalties and enjoined them from future securities laws violations.  This article summarizes the decision, which has important implications for hedge fund operational due diligence.

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