An Philadelphia investment fund manager has been indicted on six counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud in connection with an alleged $68 million fraud scheme.
Brenda Smith, initially charged in August 2019, managed and controlled Broad Reach Capital, a pooled investment fund established in February 2016 and open to accredited investors. From February 2016 through August 2019, Smith allegedly orchestrated a scheme in which she made misrepresentations to investors and promised that she would invest their funds in trading strategies she described as dividend capture, VIX convergence and opportunistic trading.
Instead, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a release, Smith diverted tens of millions of dollars of investor funds out of Broad Reach Capital to pay other investors and for her personal use. Running what was essentially a Ponzi scheme, Smith allegedly misrepresented the performance of Broad Reach Capital to investors and prospective investors, saying that its return in February 2018, for example, was 1.76% when it actually lost 50% of its value.
The wire fraud counts carry a maximum penalty of 20 years and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross amount of gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. The securities fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.