FSA Fines Former J.C. Flowers Europe CEO for Fraudulent Invoicing Scheme

On January 31, 2012, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued a Final Notice announcing that it fined Ravi Shankar Sinha, former UK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of private equity fund manager J.C. Flowers.  The fine, UK £2.87 million (US $4.52 million), represents one of the largest penalties ever imposed by the FSA on an individual in a non-market abuse case.  The Final Notice also banned Sinha from working in financial services in the UK.  Notably, this fine is the latest in a series of recent and vigorous enforcement actions by the FSA against private fund managers.  It comes only a week after the FSA imposed a £7.2 million (US $11 million) fine on David Einhorn and his hedge fund management company, Greenlight Capital, for allegedly using confidential information to trade in the stock of a British pub chain.  See “FSA Imposes £7.2 Million Penalty on Hedge Fund Manager David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital for Unintentional Insider Dealing in Shares of British Pub Owner Punch Taverns Plc,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 5 (Feb. 2, 2012).  This article summarizes: the structure of the various J.C. Flowers entities (as described in the FSA’s Final Notice); the Final Notice with regard to Sinha; the rationale for the FSA’s actions; and the criteria used by the FSA in assessing financial penalties or imposing prohibition orders against private fund industry participants.

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