Hedge fund founder charged with fraud tied to Neiman Marcus bankruptcy

The founder of a New York hedge fund was criminally charged Thursday over an alleged scheme to pressure a rival not to bid for assets related to Neiman Marcus’ bankruptcy so he could buy them at a lower price, the US Department of Justice said.

Daniel Kamensky, principal of Marble Ridge Capital, which has more than $1 billion of assets, was charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, extortion and obstruction of justice, the Justice Department said.

A spokesman for Marble Ridge declined immediate comment. Kamensky’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

Prosecutors said the scheme began after Kamensky learned that an investment bank was interested in bidding 30 cents to 40 cents per share for some securities tied to Neiman’s bankruptcy, compared with the 20 cents per share he hoped to pay.

Kamensky allegedly threatened to use his role as co-chair of Neiman’s official committee of unsecured creditors to prevent the rival bid, and that Marble Ridge would stop doing business with the investment bank unless it backed off, prosecutors said.