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Thursday, January 4, 2007

January 4 2007: Greenwich fund sued over mine investments - Greenwich Time

Greenwich fund sued over mine investments - Greenwich Time

When the Airlie Group acquired a struggling
Montana coal mine last year, the intention was
to turn it around and make a handsome return
on investment.

Instead, the Greenwich hedge fund is
embroiled in an emotional federal lawsuit
involving about 350 middle-class investors who
say Airlie owes them $20 million.

The a story goes back to 2001, when the original owners of
the Bull Mountain Mine, a 22,000-acre coal mine just outside
Roundup, Mont., looked to raise capital in hopes of commercially producing
coal, said plaintiff attorney Gregory Bartko of Atlanta.

Three promoters - Webb Financial Group Inc., Franklin Asset Exchange
LLC and Disciples Limited LLC - tried to find the money. They turned
primarily to "middle-class, hard-working, unaccredited investors," Bartko

Investors in hedge funds must be "accredited," or able to prove a high level
of income and assets.

With promises of 12 percent to 15 percent returns a year, the promoters
drew more than $20 million from investors.........

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