Settlement by Harbinger’s Former COO Calls into Question the Utility for Hedge Fund Manager Executives of Indemnification Provisions in Fund Documents and D&O Insurance Policies

On July 28, 2014, the SEC settled charges against Peter A. Jenson, former COO at Harbinger Capital Partners LLC (Harbinger), stemming from a group of enforcement actions initiated in 2012.  In those actions, the SEC alleged that Phillip A. Falcone, Harbinger and related entities and individuals misappropriated client assets, created an illegal short squeeze to manipulate bond prices and had control person liability relating to the short squeeze.  See “SEC Charges Philip A. Falcone, Harbinger Capital Partners and Related Entities and Individuals with Misappropriation of Client Assets, Granting of Preferential Redemptions and Market Manipulation,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 26 (Jun. 28, 2012).  Under the consent and proposed final consent judgment, for at least two years, Jenson cannot work in the securities industry or as an accountant on behalf of any entity regulated by the SEC.  The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York must approve the settlement.  This article describes the background of the settlement and the proposed settlement terms, and discusses an underappreciated risk issue highlighted by the settlement.

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