Statim Holdings, an Atlanta-based firm that has guaranteed investors in its main hedge fund won’t lose money, is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to people familiar with the matter.
The SEC inquiry into Statim comes as Georgia regulators examine the firm. The state began a probe in 2015 after the company failed to submit to a surprise audit, filings show. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in July that he had discovered “multiple irregularities” involving Statim and its hedge fund Arjun.
“Our investigation is still ongoing,” Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for Kemp, said last week. She said state regulators have been working with the SEC, which declined to comment through a spokesman.
Bloomberg News reported in July that Statim, led by Joseph A Meyer, is under investigation in Georgia. Meyer said in an interview for the story that he employs a computerized system of his own design but invests most of his clients’ money in safe Treasury bonds. The Arjun fund rose 24% in 2015, 91% in 2014 and 13% in 2013, Meyer said in an e-mail.
Statim and Meyer have not been accused of any wrongdoing and an investigation doesn’t mean they will face legal action. Steve Sadow, an attorney for Meyer and Statim, said his clients did not do anything improper.
“The SEC and the GA Securities Division are conducting what appear to be a routine investigation of Arjun LP, Statim Holdings and Joseph Meyer in part based on misstatements of fact made by you in your Bloomberg article,” Sadow said in an emailed statement. “All financial records and information sought in the inquiry have been disclosed and show no fraud or illegal activity whatsoever. Meyer has and will continue to cooperate in full with both agencies.”
The lawyer didn’t provide any details to support his contention that the story contained errors.
Meyer said last year that investors in Arjun’s main share class will never lose money. As part of the deal, investors must tie up their cash for 10 years or else lose 50% of their principal if they choose to redeem early. Meyer said that the firm maintains several other investing strategies.
Several individuals who said they were investors with Statim, including one who showed his contract with Statim to a Bloomberg reporter, had asked to withdraw money from Meyer’s funds between 2012 and 2016.
Three of them said they decided to pull money from Statim after discovering discrepancies in their contracts or investment statements. They said changes they witnessed in their accounts didn’t reflect performance Meyer said he was achieving.
The clients said that Meyer, who had communicated with them frequently, became hard to reach and even hostile after they asked for their money back. The investors said after they threatened legal action, Statim did return some or all of their funds. They requested to remain anonymous for this story.
“Any and all investors who seek the return of their investments have been and will be paid pursuant to the terms of the Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) that every investor signed at the time of the initial investment,” Sadow said. “Finally, any investor who claims to have threatened legal action did so for the sole purpose of attempting to skirt and evade the withdrawal provisions clearly set out and agreed to in the PPM.”
Broce, the Georgia spokeswoman, said that Statim filed some but not all of the required paperwork related to audits. The missing paperwork was among multiple irregularities that led to the investigation, the regulator said in its July statement.
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