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Judge Takes Sports Car from Nadel\'s Hedge Fund

Date: Friday, March 6, 2009
Author: John Hielscher, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Mark down one less toy for the boys at the hedge funds run by Arthur G. Nadel.

A federal judge has approved ending a lease for a 2008 Maserati GranTurismo with Viking Management LLC, whose principals are Neil and Christopher Moody.

The 405-horsepower sports car — base price $114,640 — will be turned over to its owner.

The court-appointed receiver for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil complaint against Nadel asked to dispose of the lease and the car.

Receiver Burton Wiand said there is no equity in the Maserati that could add to the receivership estate and benefit defrauded investors.

Getting rid of the car also eliminates a potential claim against the estate, he said.

Chris Moody was the guarantor of the lease with Putnam Leasing Co., a Stamford, Conn., company that leases luxury and sports cars nationwide.

In its agreement with Wiand to take back the Maserati, Putnam said it was not releasing Moody from his obligations as guarantor of the lease.

The car was most recently at the Venice Jet Center, the service provider owned by Nadel at the Venice Airport.

Court documents did not state the value of the lease or how much Viking Management was paying to use the car.

The Moody’s Viking Management and Valhalla Management formed three hedge funds and hired Nadel as their investment adviser.

The Moodys and Nadel repeatedly told their clients the hedge funds were worth more than $300 million, when in fact they held less than $1 million when the businesses collapsed in mid-January.

Nadel has been charged with two criminal counts of securities fraud and wire fraud. He is awaiting trial, and possible release on bail, in a New York detention facility.

The Moodys have been sued in Sarasota Circuit Court by a former investor who says he lost $5.8 million. He claims the Moodys used ill-gotten management fees from the funds to buy jewelry for later sale at a St. Armands store.