IBJNews

Hauke receiver files suit against his former accounting firm

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The receiver representing investors in the Ponzi scheme run by convicted money manager Keenan Hauke has sued Hauke's former accounting firm, charging that its negligence contributed to millions of dollars in investor losses.

Carmel attorney William Wendling Jr. filed suit in Marion Superior Court on Monday against Indianapolis-based DeWitt & Shrader PC and executives David DeWitt and Matthew Hickey.

The lawsuit claims the firm violated the Indiana Securities Act and committed negligence and fraud, as well as breach of contract, by failing to monitor Hauke’s bank accounts.

DeWitt & Shrader had served as the accounting firm for Hauke’s Fishers-based hedge fund, Samex Capital Partners LLC, from January 2006 until April 2011.

Wendling charges in the complaint that DeWitt & Shrader failed to monitor Samex’s bank accounts, enabling Hauke to pilfer investor funds for his personal use.

“As Samex’s accountants, defendants either knew or should have known that Hauke was not following generally accepted accounting practices and compliance procedures, and either knew or should have known that Hauke was stealing from Samex and was operating a Ponzi scheme,” Wendling said in the suit.

DeWitt said the complaint is without merit and that he plans to vigorously defend himself, the firm and Hickey.

“We are disappointed and surprised by the complaint filed by the receiver,” DeWitt said in an e-mail to IBJ. “We have cooperated fully with the investigative authorities and, in fact, the criminal investigators concluded that Keenan Hauke concealed his misconduct from us as well as his investors. We too fell victim to Keenan's schemes, as a portion of our 401(k) plan was invested with Hauke.”

Hauke pleaded guilty to fraud in December and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in March. He also was ordered to make restitution of $7.1 million, the amount the court determined he swindled from 67 investors.

In the suit, though, Wendling estimates the losses at $10 million. He is seeking to recover all investor losses attributed to DeWitt & Shrader’s negligence, according to the suit.

The complaint against DeWitt & Shrader follows a separate suit Wendling filed in April on behalf of investors.

He sued Larcher Investments LP and one of its managers, David Larcher, in federal court in Indianapolis. Larcher is executive vice president of Vestar Development, a Phoenix-based real estate developer.

The lawsuit claims Larcher deposited about $2 million into Samex through a series of payments and reinvested profits in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

Then, in 2008, Hauke wired Larcher nearly $2.6 million, describing the extra money as a gain on Larcher’s investments. Wendling claims the money Larcher received actually came out of the pockets of other investors.

The case is pending in federal court.

Before his guilty plea, Hauke was a high-profile wealth manager who made regular appearances on CNBC, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio. He also wrote an investing column for IBJ.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Costly
    These types of allegations have enormous defense expense bills. Accounting firms should buy errors and omissions insurance

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

ADVERTISEMENT