SEC Fraud Charges Against Lynn Tilton, So-Called “Diva of Distressed,” Confirm the Agency’s Focus on Valuation and Conflicts of Interest

On March 30, 2015, the SEC announced the commencement of an enforcement action against Lynn Tilton, the so-called “Diva of Distressed,” and several entities she controls, arising out of the alleged overvaluation of distressed debt in the collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) they advise.  The SEC charges that Tilton improperly valued the loans owned by those CLOs, resulting in her receipt of nearly $200 million in compensation that she was not entitled to receive.  She also allegedly certified false and misleading financial statements for those CLOs and failed to disclose and obtain investor consent to the conflict of interest posed by her discretionary valuation method.  This article summarizes the SEC’s allegations and its specific charges.  For more on CLOs, see “Private Investment Funds Investing in CLO Equity and CLO Warehouse Facilities,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 7, No. 18 (May 8, 2014).

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