Hedge hokum: Bogus hedge fund bilked online investors for $12 million

WHAT: The posts on LinkedIn offered “pre-IPO shares of Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, Zynga and other hot companies about to go public.” However, money sent to Praetorian Global Fund went to support a lavish lifestyle for the phony hedge-fund operator.

HOW: Praetorian allegedly cheated online investors out of more than $12 million during a 15-month period, claiming to be holding the cash in a safe escrow account, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident John A. Mattera — the accused Praetorian owner — has been arrested and faces 20 years in prison on criminal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

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