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SEC postpones Myers hearing with deal likely

By Lee Howard

Publication: The Day

Published December 11. 2012 4:00AM
Stocks adviser accused of 'cherry-picking'

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hearing about the financial dealings of Lyme investment adviser Noah L. Myers, originally scheduled to begin Monday in New London, has been postponed as the two sides try to finalize an agreement.

According to a Nov. 23 filing by the SEC, "an agreement in principal" has been reached between Myers and the agency, a proposal that will be presented to the commission for final consideration, most likely next month. No details on the tentative agreement were released.

Public administrative proceedings into the conduct of Myers, owner of Essex-based MiddleCove Capital LLC, were to have begun Monday at a U.S. Department of Labor hearing room in the Shaw's Cove office park before Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliott. Myers is accused of orchestrating a cherry-picking scheme that may have cost local investors more than $2 million.

Cherry-picking involves an investment adviser commingling personal funds with those of a client and then choosing the most profitable trades to eventually credit to a personal account.

The SEC earlier had said that a hearing officer could order the return of ill-gotten gains to clients and that separate hearings might be held to determine whether Myers should be banned from the financial-products industry. The SEC would only say Monday that a public report outlining the agreement would be released after a final deal is reached and that information from an independent accountant hired to investigate MiddleCove's practices would be available to the public.

But a woman whose family was affected by the scheme said she was concerned that specific information about Myers' dealings may never be known because of the agreement.

"As the daughter of an investor who used MiddleCove Capital and lost significant money through Myers' schemes, I am concerned that an SEC resolution in this case will mean we might never know the extent of the scheme or how much money individual investors may have lost through fraud," said Donna Hutchinson in an email. "I urge other investors who lost money from this scheme to contact the SEC to let the agency know about your concerns and to contact me if interested in forming a group to let our position be known."

Hutchinson gave her email address as fairwindsri@gmail.com.

At its height, MiddleCove managed $129 million in assets. The SEC's decision to try the case as an administrative matter doesn't preclude the filing of civil suits or even criminal charges, according to an agency spokesman.


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