Friday, December 5, 2008

SEC Accuses California Man With Massive Investment Fraud

The Securities & Exchange Commission charged William Del Biaggio III, 41, a former venture capitalist and silicon valley businessman, with defrauding investors and financial institutions out of at least $65 million. The SEC complaint charges that from 2003 to 2007, Del Biaggio, known as "Boots," looted three venture entities he set up independently of Menlo Park, California-based Sand Hill Capital, LLC, for which he was a principal. These entities, Sand Hill Capital Partners III, LLC, BBD Management, LLC and BDB Management II, LLC, were promoted to investors by Del Biaggio, capitalizing on his reputation, but were essentially organized by Del Biaggio to pay for gambling debts and to support a lavish lifestyle, according to prosecutors. He is accused of forging documents to obtain $45 million in loans, pledging his investor's securities as collateral, without their authority or knowledge. Del Biaggio is a part owner of the Nashville Predators hockey team, the funds to purchase coming from client investment funds, according to the SEC. He and his father are the co-founders and owners of Heritage Bank of Commerce, based in San Jose, California. The SEC asserts that an unnamed co-conspirator, who is a friend and personal broker with a San Francisco brokerage firm, assisted Del Biaggio's fraud by providing clients’ account statements which Del Biaggio doctored by replacing the clients’ names and addresses with his own. Del Biaggio filed for personal bankruptcy in June and resigned from Sand Hill Capital, LLC in May.

Read the story here, here and here.

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