SEC Charges Brantley Capital with Securities Fraud

 - August 19, 2009, 5:47 AM

Robert Pinkas, Tab Keplinger and Brantley Capital Management (BCM) have been charged “with securities fraud for overvaluing assets in an investment portfolio they manage in order to generate higher investment advisory fees,” according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleges that BCM, Pinkas and Keplinger “substantially overstated the value of equity and debt investments in two failing private companies,” one of which was fractional-share operator Flight Options International (FOI), which “was consistently losing millions of dollars.” Pinkas, managing general partner of Brantley Partners, said, “The SEC’s conclusions are baseless…we had three outside valuations that confirmed our judgments. It is unfortunate and unfair that after years of investigation punctuated by long periods of dormancy, the SEC has now chosen to launch this action against me and BCM because of… two unsuccessful investments in one fund that had ten other successful investments. Even though FOI was unsuccessful for BCC, FOI is profitable and continues to be one of the leaders in its industry.” Keplinger elected to settle with the SEC and pay a $50,000 penalty. Brantley Partners is not financially involved with FOI.