SEC: Don't Blame Credit Markets for Firm's Demise

Bankrupt cash management operation comes under federal scrutiny
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2007 5:43 PM CDT
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(Newser) – The feds don’t know what happened to the millions of dollars that disappeared from the books of a Chicago-area cash management firm, but they don’t believe upheaval in the credit markets is to blame. Days after Sentinel Management blocked investors from withdrawing their investments, the company filed for bankruptcy, citing market turmoil—an excuse the SEC calls “false and misleading.”

Officials accuse the firm of not disclosing losses and engaging in secret transactions without investor approval, the Chicago Tribune reports. Puzzled by Sentinel’s strategies, the SEC is suing to recoup the lost money. And the victims weren’t all multimillionaires: One investor with two kids who entrusted $55,000 to Sentinel says the money represented about 80% of his personal savings.