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Regulators Scrutinize Bear Hedge Fund Redemption

Federal regulators are investigation whether Bear Stearns hedge fund managers withdrew money from the now bankrupt funds shortly before the funds froze investor redemptions.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and United States Attorney are investigating reports that Ralph Cioffi, the Bear Stearns hedge fund manager, withdrew $2 million of his $6 million investment and invested it another Bear Stearns hedge fund.

In February 2007, investors began looking for the exits in an attempt to cut losses. They were blocked from doing so for months by Bear’s asset management team, which continued to underplay the turmoil in the mortgage market, according to reports. At one time, the funds, including leverage, held approximately $35 billion in toxic debt.