Atlanta-based RaceTrac Petroleum has been awarded more than $3.4 million from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel for damages the gas station chain sustained after it invested in the Bear Stearns hedge funds that imploded in 2007, Hedgefund.net reported.
The FINRA arbitration award was issued in December, but was recently announced via the agency’s Web site.
RaceTrac Petroleum, a privately held chain with more than 500 gas-convenience stores across the Southeast, had been seeking $5 million for its investment in the Bear Stearns hedge funds. Hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin were originally included in the arbitration, but were later dropped from the case. RaceTrac had also sought treble damages against Bear Stearns, but was denied.
In November, the government lost its criminal case against Cioffi and Tannin when a jury voted to acquit them of accusations of fraud in their management of the failed funds.
The failure of the two Bear Stearns funds in July 2007 was one of the harbingers of the credit crunch and the recession that followed. The funds, which went into bankruptcy, were heavily leveraged and invested in securities that packaged subprime mortgages. Those securities were the first to get into trouble as homeowners defaulted, Hedgefund.net noted.