Ritchie Capital Hedge Fund Tracker Notes

Ritchie Capital, Founder Pays $40 Million to End Probe

Ritchie Capital Hedge FundThe following piece on Ritchie Capital Management is being published as part of our daily effort to track hedge funds in the industry. To review other hedge fund research notes please see our Hedge Fund Tracker Tool.

Resource #1: (11.19.08) Ritchie Capital Management and Thane Ritchie, the hedge fund manager's principal, were sued by Barclays Bank Plc over accusations they concealed more than $150 million in investments made in the collapsed Petters Group Worldwide LLC and affiliates.

Now bankrupt, Petters Group, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was raided in September by FBI agents acting on information that the company may have cheated at least 20 investors. Principal Tom Petters, accused of leading a $2 billion fraud, is being held without bail in a Minnesota jail.

``Thane Ritchie made the decision to invest significant sums'' from two of his firm's hedge funds with Petters, at a time when those funds ``were supposed to be winding down,'' Barclays said in a complaint filed Nov. 18 in Illinois state court in Chicago.

The bank is a unit of London-based Barclays Plc. Shares in that commercial banking and investment house, which have declined almost 74 percent this year, fell 19.9 British pence, or 13 percent, to 129.6 pence in London yesterday, after reaching a 52-week low of 129 pence.

Ritchie Capital Management, based in Lisle, Illinois, and 19 related entities and funds are named as defendants in the Barclays suit, as are Thane Ritchie and four other firm executives. The bank claims it's owed at least $380 million.

`Inaccurate and Misleading'

``Barclays' lawsuit lacks merit as a matter of law and is premised upon inaccurate and misleading factual contentions'' the firm's outside spokesman, Justin Meise of River Communications, said yesterday in an e-mail. ``We will vigorously defend this baseless action.'' Source

Resource #2:

``We are pleased to put this matter behind us, and we will continue our other efforts to maximize value for all of our investors,'' Thane Ritchie said in a statement issued by the firm on Business Wire...

"The respondents' attempt to cover their tracks by using falsified order tickets merely underscores the egregiousness of the fraudulent scheme,'' Merri Jo Gillette, who heads the SEC's Chicago regional office, said in its statement. ``Thorough and tenacious investigative work'' uncovered it, she said...

Here is the full update from Bloomberg

- Richard

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