December 11, 2008

Penny Ante Stuff

Prominent NYC lawyer Marc S. Dreier, head of a high-flying 250 lawyer firm on Park Avenue, was arrested earlier this month for stealing something like $380 million by selling forged promissory notes from other institutions to hedge funds by ... pretending to be somebody else. According to the NYT:

Mr. Dreier was initially arrested in Canada on Dec. 2 after an elaborate ruse to sell $45 million of the phony promissory notes there collapsed, according to a Toronto police department document.

After meeting with a lawyer for a teachers’ pension plan on another matter and obtaining that man’s business card, Mr. Dreier asked to use a phone and was ushered into a conference room by a secretary, according to the document. A short time later, he used the room to meet with the representative of a hedge fund whom he had previously invited to the offices, and impersonated the lawyer whose card he had just been handed.

But the scheme quickly unraveled, authorities said, when the hedge fund representative and the secretary felt something was amiss, and Mr. Dreier was arrested soon after.

By this point, I'm kind of disappointed that this guy only stole $380 million. Now, stealing $380 billion using other people's business cards, well, that would be impressive. But $380 million in this day and age is nothing.

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Anonymous said...

The bummer is it seems you need to go to Uni before becoming active in this line of crime. Standards are rising in all lines of business these days.

Anonymous said...

That's just sick. He'd already stolen over $100 million and the guy just had to keep going for one more score (and would have kept going, no doubt, until he was busted or dead).

The borrowed business card trick, that's old school. Haven't seen that since Jake Gittes pretended to be a Water & Power engineer in Chinatown.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I didn’t see either of these major crime stories on the cable news outlets.

But I did get to see Keith Olbermann attack Peter Brimelow (and name Jared Taylor and Kevin MacDonald) as reasons that someone (was it Bill O’Reilly again) was the worst person in the world. Olbermann basically just summarized Max(ine) Blumenthal’s hit piece.

Anonymous said...

Another famous graduate of Harvard Law School.

"That's just sick. He'd already stolen over $100 million and the guy just had to keep going for one more score (and would have kept going, no doubt, until he was busted or dead)."

I agree, the whole thing is crazy. Maybe he had some investment which he hoped would turn around, allowing him to pay everyone back.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like something out of "The Sting."

m said...

Will this guy do hard time?

Anonymous said...

Former head of the Nasdaq Bernie Madoff was just arrested for running a Ponzi scheme. He's been charged with securities fraud. Losses could run to $50 billion. Anything for a shekel.

albertosaurus said...

Adam Osborne (of Osborne Computers and publishing) predicted about twenty five years ago that the wealthy of the future would arise from computer criminals.

That doesn't seem to have happened.

This guy just used the age old technique of identity theft - he stole paper documents.

Anonymous said...

you got your wish... a 50 billion dollar scandal just broke today Bernard Madoff

Anonymous said...

I used to work at one of this guy's firms. He was a sort of franchisor in a sense: salting money around to different law firms in the country and sticking his name on the marquee right up front. (And doesn't it just look stunning on my resume now?) Guess he had a habit of "wearing a lot of hats".

Anonymous said...

Bernie's a choice specimen. How he operated, his web of associates and other enablers, etc. - an instructive field of study.

Madoff's lawyer, Dan Horwitz, said on Thursday: "We will fight to get through this unfortunate set of events." His client was released on $10 million bond.

The man's only hope is to flee to Israel and get away from all us stupid anti-Semites who can't understand high finance.