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The collapse two years ago of a pair of Allianz hedge funds wasn’t just an unfortunate matter costing investors some several billion dollars. It wasn’t just a lawsuit magnet and tremendous personal tragedy for Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte. Nor was it just another opportunity to embarrass German regulators. It wasn’t just a massive hole blown in Allianz’s bottom line. It was all of those things, of course. But it was also, as the Justice Department strongly suspected, criminal.

An American subsidiary of the insurer, Allianz Global Investors U.S., pleaded guilty Tuesday to securities fraud for failing to stop the scheme, which came to light after the funds collapsed early in the pandemic, losing more than $7 billion before they were shut down, according to court filings by federal prosecutors.

The fraud involved three former portfolio managers, including the funds’ former chief investment officer, who misled investors for at least four years by concealing the risk they faced, prosecutors said….

[Former chief investment officer Gregoire] Tournant was charged with fraud and obstruction of justice in an indictment unsealed on Tuesday. The other portfolio managers, Stephen Bond-Nelson and Trevor Taylor, pleaded guilty in March and are cooperating with the government, prosecutors said.

Allianz subsidiary pleads guilty over a $7 billion investment implosion. [NYT]

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