STAFF WRITERS

Investors in a Sarasota-based hedge fund could be out $350 million, and the man behind it has vanished. Managers of the fund are telling clients that their money is gone, and they do not know if any will be recovered.

Fund principal Arthur G. Nadel, a prominent player in Sarasota social and philanthropic circles, disappeared this week. His wife, Peg, filed a missing person report with law enforcement after finding a suicide note.

Investors -- from individuals to the Sarasota YMCA Foundation -- in the funds branded Viking, Valhalla and Scoop were stunned this week to learn they may be victims in what could become the largest investment swindle in Southwest Florida history.

Despite the carnage on Wall Street last year, investors were told that their investments had earned more than 8 percent as of November.
This "investment" company's name...Scoop Management Inc., seems
ironically named.