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Disgraced NY lawmaker joins hedge fund-report

Date: Friday, April 24, 2009
Author: Joseph A. Giannone, Reuters

Vito Fossella, a former U.S. congressman representing sections of New York until a drunk driving conviction last year, has joined controversial hedge fund Superfund Investment Group, the Staten Island Advance reported this week.

The community newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said Fossella's role at the firm was not known. Superfund officials and Fossella were not available for comment.

Superfund is a managed futures investment firm that wants to make hedge funds available to the masses. Founder Christian Baha, a former Austrian police officer and college drop-out, stars in television commercials that poke fun at his inability to pronounce "investor."

The firm's strategy of promoting hedge funds to people with as little as $5,000 to invest prompted a warning from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Hedge funds are lightly regulated investment pools that are by law restricted to wealthy individuals and institutions.

Superfund says its fund, Superfund Q-AG, has generated net returns of more than 500 percent since inception, the paper said, citing the firm's website.

Fossella, a Republican who represented the Staten Island section of New York for 12 years, did not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives last fall after a drunk driving arrest in Virginia led to revelation he had fathered a child with a Virginia woman.

Fossella last Friday reported to an Alexandria, Virginia, jail for a 4-day stint related to the drunk-driving conviction.