Police probe Florida fraud claim, missing fund leader
Published: Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 5:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 5:08 p.m.
MIAMI — A Florida hedge fund manager accused of defrauding investors out of millions is missing and his family is worried because he left a note indicating he was "distraught," police said Saturday.
Authorities were interviewing investors and looking into claims that Arthur G. Nadel stole from them, said Sarasota Police Capt. Bill Spitler. It was too soon to say exactly how much was invested, but there were reports the hedge fund could be out $350 million.
"The victims that I know of, I know some of them personally, they have no reason to lie," Spitler said.
Nadel, who operated under the name Scoop Management Inc. in Sarasota, was last seen Wednesday morning by his wife. She reported him missing later that day. Nadel, 75, left a note for his family, although authorities nor his wife would divulge its contents.
"The reason we were called was because he was distraught and they became concerned," said Sarasota County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Chuck Lesaltato.
Peg Nadel said she was cooperating with the authorities and all the investors, but wouldn't go into any detail.
Local authorities were working with the Securities Exchange Commission and FBI in the ongoing fraud investigation.
Arthur Nadel was prominent in local social and philanthropic circles in the beach town along the central Gulf Coast. His investors ranged from individuals to the local YMCA Foundation, The Sarasota-Herald Tribune reported.
Neil Moody, who said he employed Scoop as a trader for three funds in which he was a general partner, has told several investors interviewed by the newspaper that the hedge funds value was $350 million. He said Saturday that he has also lost millions.
"My family is over $12 million at risk," he said. He would not give any further information.
Moody, a director of the YMCA and first vice chair, told the group's local president Thursday that the money was gone and resigned from the board, the newspaper reported.
Another investor said he was not optimistic about getting the $730,000 he invested back.
"I feel abused. I feel beaten. I don't know who to believe," said Dr. Brad Lerner, an internal medicine physician.
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