SEIDEN LAW GROUP GETS JUSTICE: Hedge fund to pay $90million judgment
The New York Post: Hedgie plundered own fund to avoid giving $90M bonus to employees: suit
BY CARLTON ENGLISH | The New York Post
A vengeful hedge fund manager looted his own fund to avoid paying two former employees their bonuses, according to new bombshell complaint.
Paul Touradji has been moving hundreds of millions of dollars out of his eponymous fund to keep it out of the hands of two former staffers who have been after him for $46 million in back pay, according to a complaint filed in New York State Court earlier this month.
The two stiffed employees, Gentry Beach and Robert Vollero, got their day in court in May — and were awarded $91 million, or $46 million plus interest, after a two-week trial.
Only now, there’s no money left in the hedge fund to pay them — thanks to Touradji, they claim.
Touradji Capital Management, which was worth $1 billion in 2005 when Beach and Vollero joined the firm, now has a mere $14,500 in assets, the lawsuit says.
“Post-judgments discovery has uncovered [Touradji’s] ill-conceived attempts to loot TCM of hundreds of millions … to avoid paying plaintiffs,” court papers say.
The men say Touradji’s transfers included a payment of $192 million to himself on Nov. 20, 2017, just months before Beach and Vollero’s trial was originally set to kick off on January 2018. The trial date was later delayed — but not before Touradji made another $7.7 million transfer to his sister, Pegah, on Dec. 20, 2017, court documents say.
Touradji received a total of $314.8 million in transfers between 2012 and 2018, the lawsuit said. Pegah Touradji received a total of $13 million in transfers between 2012 and 2017, it is alleged.
Paul Touradji, who was listed by Forbes as one of the highest-earning hedge fund managers of 2009, also waived fees owed to the fund, further ensuring its insolvency, plaintiffs allege.
Beach and Vollero joined Touradji’s firm in 2005, but say years passed without their being paid their promised compensation.
As The Post previously reported, the jury was told that Beach complained to Touradji in September 2008 — and immediately felt the wrath of his boss.
“I will not pay you, I will not pay you a dime, you know, and before this is done and over, your wife will be here in this office, here on her knees, begging for mercy,” Touradji ranted, according a Touradji Capital analyst who was called to the witness stand in May.
Touradji slammed his door so hard during the alleged tirade that pictures in a neighboring office fell off the walls, the witness testified.
Beach, who resigned the next day, claimed his boss wanted him “killed” and told cops he was “in fear of his safety,” according to a police report filed at the time.
The two men are asking the court to order that the transfers be deemed fraudulent and that the men be paid their money — plus attorneys fees and any added interest.
Last week, Judge Andrea Masley issued a temporary restraining order that blocks Touradji from “transferring or dissipating” his assets until a hearing held on Sept. 12.
“Justice wheels turn slowly but if you’re relentless, it pays off,” Robert Seiden, one of the lawyers representing Vollero and Beach, told The Post.
An lawyer for Touradji declined to comment.