Archegos Capital Management Founder Bill Hwang to Face Criminal Trial for Fraud and Racketeering

Archegos Capital Management Founder Bill Hwang to Face Criminal Trial for Fraud and Racketeering

Kai Chen
3 min read

"Archegos Capital Management Founder Faces Criminal Trial for Fraud and Racketeering, Prompting $36 Billion Fortune Collapse and $10 Billion Lender Losses"

Sung Kook "Bill" Hwang, the renowned founder of Archegos Capital Management, is poised to undergo a criminal trial on May 8 for allegations of fraud and racketeering. These charges are linked to the massive downfall of his $36 billion fortune, as well as the staggering $10 billion in losses incurred by lenders. The family office, in its operations, engaged in derivative investments and swaps to mask transactions and influence stock prices. Through these intricate maneuvers, it managed to amass a portfolio worth $160 billion, primarily funded through borrowed capital. The unraveling of Archegos was catalyzed by a stock offering by ViacomCBS, which led to margin calls and ultimately culminated in the firm's collapse. Notably, both Hwang and Archegos's CFO, Patrick Halligan, have pleaded not guilty, contending that their actions adhered to legal guidelines and were aimed at minimizing risks through the utilization of multiple counterparties. However, the repercussions of the collapse were substantial, leaving significant losses for lenders such as Credit Suisse, Nomura Holdings Inc., and Morgan Stanley.

Key Takeaways

  • Bill Hwang, the founder of Archegos Capital Management, is confronting a criminal trial with charges related to fraud and racketeering.
  • Archegos's downfall resulted in the depletion of Hwang's $36 billion fortune and inflicted losses of $10 billion upon lenders.
  • Utilizing swaps, Archegos effectively obscured transactions and manipulated stock prices, enabling Hwang's fortune to skyrocket from $1.5 billion to approximately $36 billion.
  • Credit Suisse suffered a substantial loss of $5.5 billion due to the collapse of Archegos, a factor contributing to its acquisition by UBS AG.
  • Archegos's approach centered on heavily leveraged and consolidated positions in derivative investments.


The impending criminal trial faced by Bill Hwang, the pioneering figure behind Archegos Capital Management, for charges associated with fraud and racketeering, follows the catastrophic demise of his $36 billion fortune and the staggering $10 billion losses incurred by lenders. Archegos orchestrated financial instruments such as derivatives and swaps, effectively manipulating stock prices and accumulating a colossal portfolio through borrowed funds. This high-stakes strategy, responsible for elevating Hwang's wealth from $1.5 billion to $36 billion, substantially impacted lenders like Credit Suisse, Nomura, and Morgan Stanley.

In response to the fallout, financial institutions like UBS may capitalize on the opportunity to acquire weakened competitors, such as Credit Suisse, which, due to the collapse of Archegos, sustained a $5.5 billion loss. Furthermore, the trial's outcome possesses the potential to influence regulatory measures governing the transparency and risk management of family offices, addressing the critical requirement for reform and aiming to deter comparable reckless conduct in the future.

In the short term, financial institutions will reassess their exposure to concentrated derivative investments and institute more stringent risk management protocols. Over the long term, regulators could execute more rigorous oversight of family offices, potentially stifling innovation but fostering financial stability.

Did You Know?

  • Archegos Capital Management: A family office and investment firm established by Bill Hwang, which utilized derivatives and swaps to invest and obfuscate transactions, leading to its collapse and inflicting a $10 billion loss on lenders.
  • Derivative investments and swaps: Financial instruments that derive their value from an underlying asset or group of assets, employed by Archegos Capital Management to conceal its dealings and manipulate stock prices.
  • Highly leveraged and concentrated positions: A perilous investment strategy entailing the use of borrowed capital and maintaining a substantial position in a single asset or a group of assets, a tactic employed by Archegos that eventually led to its collapse and substantial losses for its lenders.
  • Margin calls: A requisition by a broker for additional funds or securities from a customer to cover potential losses on a margin account, in Archegos's case, instigated by a ViacomCBS stock offering, culminating in its implosion.

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