Nadel’s 32% Returns in Doubt as Manager Disappears

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by asap, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. asap


    In doubt, they say? :D

    y Joe Schneider, Doris Bloodsworth and Saijel Kishan

    Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Brad Lerner was pleased when a November statement showed his $500,000 investment in a fund run by Arthur Nadel had gained 8.5 percent for the year as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 39 percent.

    Lerner, an internist from Sarasota, Florida, never got a December statement.

    Instead, one of Nadel’s partners came to him last week with the news that the fund manager couldn’t be found. Lerner, 55, and others whose money was invested by Nadel’s Scoop Management Inc. in Sarasota may have lost as much as $350 million, law enforcement officials say.

    “Hindsight is 20-20,” Lerner, who had most of his life savings in the Viking IRA fund, said in a Jan. 17 interview. “But I guess it was too good to be true.”

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation joined local police over the weekend in the search for Nadel, 76, who left his $250,000 four-bedroom home for work on the morning of Jan. 14 and hasn’t been seen by his family or business partners since. The probe follows by a month the alleged confession by New York’s Bernard Madoff of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

    Nadel’s light green Subaru was found on Jan. 15 in a parking lot at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. He left his family a note at home in which he sounded “distraught,” according to Lieutenant Chuck Lesaltato of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

    New Orleans Lead

    He has since spoken by phone to his wife, Marguerite, according to Neil Moody, who contracted with Nadel to run three funds, including Viking IRA. Marguerite Nadel didn’t answer her home or mobile phone.

    “The employees of Scoop Management, which includes Peg Nadel, the wife of Arthur Nadel, have just learned that they, along with many others who have invested money with Art, have been victimized by his unauthorized actions,” Nadel’s family said in a statement, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

    Lerner said he was told by the FBI that Nadel had last called his wife, known as Peg, from New Orleans. An FBI spokeswoman in New Orleans said the agency doesn’t comment on open investigations. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is helping the Sarasota Police Department in the search for client funds.

    Viking IRA is one of six private funds run by Nadel, according to Moody. The Valhalla Investment Partners LP and Viking funds are also managed under contract for Moody. Nadel’s firm, located in a storefront office on Main Street, has three funds of its own: Victory, Victory IRA and Scoop Real Estate.

    Nadel said in a prospectus for Valhalla Investment Partners that he developed computer-generated investment and trading programs, which had been used by other hedge funds since 1999.

    32% Annual Returns

    Valhalla reported average annual returns of 32 percent from 2000 through 2006, according to a report by, a Web site that tracks the performance of hedge funds. The report, dated March 2007, said Valhalla had 55 consecutive profitable months from October 2001 to April 2006. The fund’s longest losing streak was two months in 2000.

    Hedge funds lost an average of 18.3 percent last year, the worst year on record, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc., as managers misjudged the severity of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    Moody declined to elaborate on the trading strategies used by the funds, their holdings or returns when contacted yesterday.

    “We are cooperating with all the appropriate authorities, and are in the process of gathering the facts,” Moody’s lawyer, James Miller, said in an e-mailed statement.

    Deals Gone Sour

    Virginia Hoffman, Nadel’s ex-wife, said she wasn’t surprised to learn he had disappeared, along with the money.

    “I am not shocked by the act,” Hoffman said in a Jan. 17 e-mail. “I am shocked by the magnitude of what he has done.”

    Hoffman and Nadel were divorced in 1999, according to the Sarasota Clerk of County Comptroller. Hoffman said they were together for 15 years and married for four. Hoffman said she was Nadel’s third wife.

    In Sarasota, many people “knew of his past business deals which had gone sour but yet folks still trusted him with their money,” Hoffman said.

    Nadel, who had graduated from New York University School of Law, was disbarred in the 1980s, Hoffman said.

    According to New York state records, an Arthur G. Nadel was disbarred March 11, 1982, for violating terms of an escrow agreement, in which he held $50,000 as part of a sales transaction between a realty corporation and a hospital. He was found guilty of dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation by a disciplinary committee. Nadel paid back the money.

    Homebuilder, Jet Services

    In Sarasota, a city of 54,000 on Florida’s west coast, Nadel was known as a successful hedge-fund manager and business owner, philanthropist, jazz and opera fan and a tennis enthusiast.

    Nadel’s name appears in registration documents for businesses including Home Front Homes, an Englewood, Florida- based builder of houses using prefabricated walls, and Venice Jet Center of Venice, Florida, which provides aviation services such as charters and hanger space. He is affiliated with the Guy-Nadel Foundation Inc., with assets of $3.4 million, according to, a Web site that tracks charities and nonprofit organizations.

    Nadel owns a 2,660 square-foot home on Country View Drive in a Sarasota County subdivision, with a pool and three-car garage, according to Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Web site. Wreaths adorned the double front doors.

    Nadel and his wife were described as a “dynamic” team “both in business and in community” in the January edition of the Bird Key Yacht Club newsletter. Nadel was cited as sponsor of two annual Sarasota Jazz Festivals and Peg was chairwoman of the Habitat for Humanity’s “Legacy of Hope” campaign.

    “While service to others is a primary focus, music is a very close second” for the couple, according to the newsletter.
  2. ipatent


    Hows does a guy who was disbarred for mishandling escrow funds end up managing 350 MM?

    The odd thing is it seems he led a fairlly low budget lifestyle.
  3. Ya gotta wonder how many more of these there are?

    Common ET folks, we know some (a lot?) of you are fake/failed traders running OPM.

    Might as well confess. It will be cleansing for your soul!