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‘Hedge Fund’ Took Them for $8M, Family Says

SACRAMENTO (CN) - A family says three men ran a bogus hedge fund that cheated them of $8 million. They say the Black Card Group may never have existed at all, that if it did exist it's in default, and that its directors, Ethan Conrad, Frank Sim and Harrold Pressly, spent their money on luxury vehicles and resort property.

Five members of the Urata family say Conrad told them that "the real estate market was getting soft, that he had formed a hedge fund that was earning 3 percent a month and that Charles Urata should put his money in the fund instead of real estate." He told Urata that he had put his own money into the fund, which "was exclusive ... was available just for friends ... [and] that it was a 'no brainer'; that it was really safe."

But the Uratas say the Black Card hedge fund may never have even existed, and if it did, its managers "were not competent to manage an investment fund."

Not did the fund operate out of Las Vegas, as it claimed, according to the complaint: "If the defendant Black Card Group, Inc., was in fact ever legally formed and does indeed exist as a legal entity, the principal place of business of that entity was at all times relevant to this complaint, and is, located in the County of Sacramento."

The Uratas demand $8.2 million in damages for negligence, breach of contract and misrepresentation.

They are represented by Mark Campbell with Murphy, Campbell, Guthrie & Alliston.

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