A Hamilton County judge has ordered a temporary asset freeze against prominent Fishers money manager Keenan Hauke, who is being investigated by the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office over financial irregularities involving a hedge fund he operates.
Superior Court Judge J. Richard Campbell on Friday also placed a temporary restraining order against Hauke, CEO of Samex Capital Advisors LLC, from doing business at least until a preliminary court hearing on April 25.
The Indiana securities commissioner's office sought the freeze because it said "good and reasonable cause exists to believe [Hauke and his businesses] violated the Indiana Uniform Securities Act."
A complaint filed by the state against Hauke, Samex Capital Partners LLC and Samex Capital Advisors LLC said Hauke "misled investors by failing to inform them that the funds they were investing would be converted to his personal use."
"Hauke employed a device, scheme or artifice to defraud investors of Samex Partners ..." the complaint says. "Specifically, he sold investments, in the form of hedge fund interests, to investors under the guise that the hedge fund invested in liquid publicly traded securities."
In addition, the complaint says Hauke "intentionally received funds from the bank accounts of Samex Partners that were illegally converted from investors."
Hauke has written a regular investing column for IBJ for nine years. The column was “suspended indefinitely,” on Thursday after the investigation came to light.
Hauke declined to comment on the case when reached Thursday afternoon.
The investigation, launched earlier this week, stems from former Samex adviser Scott Noble’s decision to notify the state about irregularities he said he discovered at the firm.
In an interview with IBJ on Thursday, Noble declined to divulge what the irregularities might include, but said he believed them to be so serious that he resigned from Samex.
“The nature of the financial irregularities I discovered required me to immediately inform the authorities,” he said via e-mail. “As to the full extent of the problem, the authorities will have to examine records and make a determination.”
Hauke’s lawyer, Larry Mackey of Barnes & Thornburg, said in an e-mail that the complaint was filed by a “former and disgruntled” employee who had previously never raised any concerns with Hauke.
Mackey said Noble subsequently sent an e-mail to all of Hauke’s clients soliciting their business for his new financial advising firm.
Noble denied he is trying to drum up business for his new firm, Ternion.
"I did not do this to pilfer clients," he said. "I did this because there were documents that showed really bad things."