SEC files complaint against Chicago manager


A Chicago hedge fund manager has been charged in a fraudulent scheme to purchase variable annuity contracts with the purpose of engaging in improper market timing.

John Fife, president of the now-defunct Clarion Management, purchased annuity contracts from Lincoln National Life Insurance through at least 17 accounts created with the purpose of making more trades than the company normally allows, according to charges filed on January 18 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Clarion, which was also named in the complaint, shut down in 2003.

By trading in variable annuities, Clarion was able to engage in market timing that