Cleveland’s self-styled hedge fund whiz kid Anthony Davian is facing federal civil action after an in-depth investigative report from last month exposed potential fraud in his operations. Davian, 34, has come under the scrutiny of the SEC, which alleges that several clients were taken to the cleaners for at least $1.5 million under the auspices of his firm Davian Capital Advisors.
Davian founded his company in 2007, unabashedly promoting himself through social media outlets as a “financial rock star” who was enjoying eye-crossing success at long-short trading. To mark new triumphs on the markets, his Twitter feed would regularly issue a resounding “Ching, ching!” He also publishes the Davian Letter, a supposed fount of unconventional wisdom for hedge fund managers and day traders. Regulators contend that since 2011 Davian has been co-mingling and misappropriating investor principal from the various funds he controlled. An in-depth article released in July by the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation also details:
- Davian Capital has claimed anywhere from $5 million to $200 million assets under management (Davian would later try to explain the latter figure as the net worth of his newsletter subscribers).
- For his first year of trading, Davian said he generated upwards of 42% returns on long and short selling in contrast to an industry average of 13%.
- Davian Capital’s former CFO states he was never allowed by Davian to review key financial records such as bank statements.
By the time he left the company earlier this year, the CFO adds, there was just $30,000 left in brokerage accounts. The SEC contends Davian traded only some of client funds, paid out redemptions from other investors’ money and spent a majority of it on personal priorities like building a luxury home and the purchase of an Audi Q7 Prestige. And while it seems you can simply buy prestige these days, even rock stars still occasionally have to walk through the fraud detector.
- Age: 34
- Company: Davian Capital Advisors
- Job: Hedge Fund Manager
- Alleged Scam: Hedge Fund
- Profits: 20-50%
- Ponzi Time: 2007-2013
- Amount of Fraud: $1.5 million
- SEC Complaint: Multiple Violations of Securities Exchange Act
- Location: Akron, OH