The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Daniel Kamensky, co-chair of the unsecured creditors committee in the Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, with abusing his position on the committee to attempt to benefit a New York-based management firm that he founded and where he served as managing partner and portfolio manager.
As co-chair of the unsecured creditors committee, Kamensky acted as a fiduciary to all unsecured creditors. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Kamensky sought to take advantage of his role on the committee to manipulate a bidding process to the benefit the portfolio he managed, and at the expense of the unsecured creditors.
According to the complaint, in his role as fund manager, Kamensky sought to purchase securities being distributed as part of the Neiman Marcus bankruptcy proceedings. As alleged, on July 31, 2020, Kamensky coerced a competing bidder for the securities into withdrawing its bid, which was higher than Kamensky’s own bid and would have led to a larger distribution to the unsecured creditors.
Kamensky allegedly indicated that, in his positon as co-chair of the committee, he would not allow the competing bidder to successfully buy the securities. When his actions came to light, Kamensky allegedly attempted to cover-up his misconduct by trying to persuade the other bidder not to describe Kamensky’s conduct as a threat.
“Misrepresentations and deceptive conduct have no place in securities offerings,” said Daniel Michael, chief of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement’s Complex Financial Instruments Unit. “As alleged, Kamensky abused his position as a fiduciary to the Neiman Marcus unsecured creditors by secretly working against them.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in New York, charges Kamensky with violating an antifraud provision of the federal securities laws. The SEC is requesting a permanent injunction and civil penalties.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Kamensky.
The SEC’s ongoing investigation is being conducted by Joseph P. Ceglio and Daniel Nigro of the Complex Financial Instruments Unit, with assistance from Alistaire Bambach of the New York Regional Office.The investigation is being supervised by Osman Nawaz. The litigation is being handled by Alexander Vasilescu and Mr. Ceglio. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.