The k1 invest fraud is the newest multi billion dollar hedge fund fraud that was unearthed in November December 2009. The repercussions of this fraud has been severe-the owner of K1 invest has been detained in jail, the assets of k1 invest has been put up for liquidation and most importantly, the investors who have lost their money have no idea whether they will ever be able to get back their hard earned money or not. The ‘no idea’ phrase is not an exaggeration as the liquidators of the K1 invest company have really no idea how and when the stolen money can be recovered.
Given that, the fraud involved so much money and given that the fraud was unearthed during the worst financial recession of the world economy, there is really no hiding from the fact that scams like this have been instrumental in bringing in the huge financial debacle on the world economy. Let us have a look at the details of the k1 invest fraud. Besides private investors, big business names like JP morgan, Barclays and BNP Paribas had been the victims of the k1 invest fraud.
The face behind all the fraud (who is in jail now) is a certain Helmut Kiener, the owner and manager of the hedge fund group K1 invest or K1 global. Kiener raised the company as a German company, domiciled the company in the British dominions of virgin islands (reputed for being an offshore banking center) and had its operations based in the Caribbean (another offshore banking region of the world). So much so, that K1 invest main guy kiener had somehow got himself a diplomatic position in the African country of Guinea Bissau. Not only the diplomatic position, keener also has properties in Florida and private Jets and choppers for his own use ($19 million Florida beachfront home, $37.1 million business jet, $9.4 million aircrafts, all during the time of recession). (see http://www.bloombergutv.com/news/latest-business-news-us/36704/jpmorgan-said-to-detect-k1-scam.html )
Now that he is jailed in Germany, and the German authority is facing a fall of reputation because of this citizen of theirs, the authorities are in no mood to let k1 invest’s keener out of jail (even when his lawyers are arguing of diplomatic immunity). In fact, new arrests in regards to the case were made very recently. (see http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLNE63F01F20100416 )
K1 invest is currently under liquidation process. The company was put to liquidation on 9 November 2009 according to the section 159 (2) of the British virgin Islands insolvency act, 2003. The liquidators who have been jointly appointed for the task are mr. Hugh Dickson of Grant Thornton Specialist services (Cayman) and mr. Mark Mc Donald of Grant Thornton (british virgin islands).
The liquidators plainly state to the investors that, ‘Unfortunately it is not currently possible to estimate whether assets will be recovered to enable a distribution to be made to investors.’ (see http://www.pathfinderluggage.com/uploads/file/FAQ-K1-Invest.pdf ). All the other details of the liquidation of k1 invest is available at the website www.pathfinderluggage.com (don’t be surprised why the website name does not have any hint about k1 invest or liquefaction; so many of faces has been lost that a suggestive name should not be expected).
So, who is to be blamed for this. The offshore islands tax havens or the aggressive investment policy of hedge funds? Who knows?