A Chicago investment fund manager has been charged by the SEC with buying houses and businesses for his wife, among other things, through an $11.4 million Ponzi scheme that he ran.
At the SEC’s request, a federal district court judge froze the assets of Neal V. Goyal. The complaint charges Goyal and his two advisory firms, Blue Horizon Asset Management and Caldera Advisors, with fraud.
Goyal told investors that the private funds he managed would invest in securities following a long-short trading strategy. However, Goyal actually did little trading and simply operated a Ponzi scheme that used new investor funds to pay redemptions to existing investors and fund his own lavish lifestyle, the SEC says. Goyal concealed the poor results of the few investments he did make by sending investors phony account statements that grossly overstated the performance of the funds, according to the agency.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois has also filed criminal charges against Goyal.
“From the beginning of his scheme, Goyal lied to investors and created fake account statements portraying positive trading returns in order to gain their trust and attract additional investments,” says David Glockner, director of the SEC’s Chicago regional office. “Goyal’s limited trading was unsuccessful, and he stole the vast majority of the money he raised.”
He used the money, says the SEC, to make down payments and pay the mortgages on two homes he purchased, to invest in a Chicago tavern, to fund two children’s clothing boutiques that his wife operates in Chicago and to purchase artwork and lavish furniture.