U.S. District Court Approves SEC’s Settlement with Bear Stearns Fund Managers Cioffi and Tannin

In June 2008, in the wake of the collapse of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. (Bear Stearns), the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission brought parallel criminal and civil enforcement actions against Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph R. Cioffi and Matthew M. Tannin, alleging that they had misrepresented to investors the precarious state of the funds they managed in an effort to attract new investments and discourage redemptions.  Cioffi and Tannin were acquitted of the criminal charges in 2009.  The SEC and the defendants have now reached a settlement of the civil charges, which has been approved by Judge Frederic Block of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Court).  This article summarizes the Court’s decision, in which Judge Block highlighted the limits of the SEC’s powers in such cases.

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