The New York Attorney General and New York City Corporation Counsel recently announced the $30‑million settlement of tax evasion charges against Harbinger Capital Partners Offshore Manager LLC (Offshore Manager), the investment manager for New York-based hedge funds run by Philip A. Falcone. This settlement is the latest chapter in a lawsuit that began when a whistleblower alleged that Offshore Manager and related entities and individuals failed to report and pay New York State and City taxes on income from incentive fees earned from successful trading conducted from a New York City office. This recent settlement is the second related to the whistleblower lawsuit. In April 2017, Harbert Management Corporation, the Alabama-based investment management company that sponsored and organized the hedge funds managed by Offshore Manager, and several related parties agreed to a $40‑million settlement. See “New York State Record Tax Whistleblower Settlement Illustrates Pitfalls of Domestic Tax-Shifting Schemes
” (Apr. 27, 2017). This article reviews the allegations against Offshore Manager, examines the terms of the latest settlement agreement and provides insight for hedge fund managers on the key takeaways from this case. For other lawsuits stemming from whistleblower complaints, see “Does the Digital Realty Decision Represent a Sea Change for Whistleblowers or Merely More of the Same?
” (Mar. 15, 2018); “Former Employee Files Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Suit Against Vertical Capital
” (Dec. 18, 2014); and “In Case of First Impression, U.S. District Court Interprets Private Right of Action Under Whistleblower Provisions of Dodd-Frank Act, Limiting Claims of Dismissed Employee of Hedge Fund Technology Vendor
” (Jul. 1, 2011).