The SEC has filed an administrative and cease-and-desist order alleging that timber manager Timbervest LLC engaged in unauthorized transactions and that its chief investment officer, Walter William Anthony Boden III, collected unauthorized, undisclosed real estate commissions.
The complaint, filed Tuesday against the firm, Mr. Boden and three other executives, alleges that the firm circumvented ERISA restrictions by selling a property in one of its funds to another one of its funds to satisfy a request by its clients to reduce the size of its portfolio by selling properties “in or around 2005.”
Christine D'Amico, spokeswoman for the Securities and Exchange Commission, wrote in an e-mail that there will be a trial to determine whether the firm is liable for the violations the enforcement division alleges. She said the commission is not commenting beyond the order.
The complaint also alleges the firm completed the unauthorized transaction of a sale of a property from one fund to a third-party real estate company and repurchase by another of Timbervest's funds.
A phone call to Mr. Boden was not returned by press time.
The firm issued a statement on its website in which it “vehemently denies the recent charges alleged against it and its four principals by the SEC. The SEC's allegations are unfounded both in law and in fact, and Timbervest and its principals will vigorously contest this action.”
Timbervest had $1.3 billion in worldwide assets under management as of Dec. 31, according to Pensions & Investments data.