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SEC freezes assets of Locust Offshore fund
  Hedgeweb - WED, NOV 09 2011
Funds & Investment The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an asset freeze against Locust Offshore Management LLC and its founder/CEO Andrey C. Hicks. The SEC accuses Hicks with diverting at least $1.7m raised from 10 investors into his personal bank account.

Hicks claimed to have obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees at Harvard University and worked for Barclays Capital before he started his own Boston-based quantitative hedge fund firm with more than $1.2bn in assets under management.

To assure his firm??s credibility, he enlisted Ernst & Young to serve as the fund??s auditor and Credit Suisse as prime broker and custodian.

As it turns out, none of these claims were true. Among the allegations in the SEC complaint: He never received any type of degree from Harvard, never worked at Barclays, his fund only had about $2m of assets under management and did not engage the blue chip firms E&Y and Credit Suisse. In addition, the Locust Fund falsely claimed its year-to-date return was 78.59 percent.

"Hicks lied to investors about virtually every aspect of his fictitious hedge fund," said David P. Bergers, Director of the SEC??s Boston Regional Office, in a press release.

The SEC said its investigation is continuing.

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