The feds will decide within six months whether those involved with New Stream Capital LLC will face criminal charges, but until then, founder David Bryson and other ex-employees will be taking the Fifth Amendment and refusing to answer questions about the “hedge fund” operation that dabbled in the life-settlement business, as well as T-shirts, jewelry operations and real estate, court papers say.
The pending criminal investigation means depositions of Bryson and other former leaders, which were set for later this month, can’t be held until next year, according to papers filed by Michael Buenzow, the official administering New Stream’s confirmed Chapter 11 plan.
“As potential witnesses in the pending investigations, it is expected that the former employees will be instructed by their counsel to invoke their Constitutional privilege,” lawyers for New Stream said in Delaware bankruptcy-court papers.
Bryson could not be reached for comment on the prospect of criminal charges, which are not news to anyone following the case. Attorneys for New Stream did not respond to invitations to comment.
New Stream has been under criminal investigation for years, long before it brawled into bankruptcy battling investors who claimed they had been bilked, according to accounts by financial journalist Teri Buhl. The company denied and ducked talk of a probe for a long time, but then the Securities and Exchange Commission spoke up to clue in the judge at the first hearing in New Stream’s bankruptcy, commencing the official spilling of the beans.