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SEC Files Civil Charges Against Philip Falcone

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In a Reuters story published yesterday, Philip Falcone was charged in civil court with "market manipulation, giving preferential treatment to several big investors who wanted to get their money out and borrowing cash from his hedge fund to pay personal expenses." (Falcone is listed on as a minority owner, investor, and Board member of the Minnesota Wild.) According to the article, Falcone plans to fight the charges, and denies any wrong doing.

We got a few questions about it, so if you have an interest in this story, make the jump.

From the article:

Among the charges are that Falcone and others manipulated the markets with a series of distressed high-yield bonds between 2006 and 2008.

Regulators also charged that Falcone treated his investors unfairly during the height of the financial crisis, when many of the fund's assets were tied up in the collapse of Lehman Brothers. He allegedly let out two big clients, even though he told others on Christmas Eve in 2008 that they would not be allowed to get their money back for quite some time.

And to top things off, the government said Falcone illegally gave himself a $113 million loan from the fund to pay for his personal taxes, something that made investors especially angry because they could not access their own money. But Falcone contends that lawyers signed off on his loan, which sources close to Falcone said he has repaid.

What this means for the Wild as an organization is better left to lawyers and the other members of the ownership group. We simply present this information to you without comment so that you stay informed of goings on surrounding the team. A statement from the Wild makes their position clear:

News reports today regarding Philip Falcone and his business interests do not affect the Minnesota Wild in any way. Philip Falcone, who is the Chief Investment Officer of Harbinger Capital Partners, continues to be a minority owner of the Wild and a member of the Board. For further inquiries regarding Mr. Falcone and his business interests outside of the Wild, please contact Lew Phelps at 310-788-2850.

What we can be certain of is that this will have no impact on what the Wild will do come Sunday, so you can rest easy there.