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Giacchetto, Feds OK deal

Diaz, DiCaprio, Ovitz were among H'w'd clients

HOLLYWOOD — Federal securities regulators announced Tuesday that they have settled their civil claims against Dana Giacchetto, with the convicted money manager to the stars agreeing to a lifetime ban from the securities industry.

Giacchetto, in a final judgment filed July 27 by the Securities & Exchange Commission in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also agreed to pay back $14.37 million in disgorgement and interest from his trading, along with a $100,000 civil penalty. His assets have been frozen by court order for more than a year.

Accused stays silent

Giacchetto did not admit or deny the allegations in the SEC’s complaint, which alleged he improperly transferred at least $20 million of assets and misappropriated a “substantial portion” of those assets. Senior trial counsel Alexander Vasilescu noted that Giacchetto had not cooperated with the SEC and refused to give depositions on a variety of transactions.

“We have not given up on seeking his assets,” Vasilescu added.

The order specifically bars Giacchetto from associating with any investment adviser and revokes his SEC registration as an investment adviser.

Giacchetto was sentenced Feb. 7 to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and admitting to stealing $10 million from his clients. His Cassandra Group fund filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July 2000 with assets of less than $25,000.

Giacchetto had managed accounts for, among others, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and AMG’s Michael Ovitz and Rick Yorn. Giacchetto also claimed he brokered the deal between Yorn and Ovitz that led to the creation of AMG.

Raiding accounts

In December 1999, Giacchetto abruptly lost many of his clients. On April 3, 2000, he was charged by criminal complaint of looting accounts belonging to clients of his Cassandra Fund.

While free on bail, Giacchetto was arrested at the Newark, N.J., airport with $44,000 in airline tickets to Tokyo, Singapore, Frankfurt and Rome, plus an altered, expired U.S. passport.

He has been incarcerated since his flight attempt.

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