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Dreier hung out on the clothesline for 20 years

In a weird case of both fraud and impersonation, Marc Dreier’s ponzi scheming ran into the suspicions of some Bay St. types in Toronto, who wisely alerted police. Today, his world of 121 foot yachts, a luxurious Manhattan lifestyle, and his 250 person law firm has reached its final collapse, as he was sent up for 20.

Lawyer Arrested

Dreier used investors’ money to subsidize the money-losing firm, to pay off some of the victims of the scam and to buy luxuries for himself, including a 121- foot yacht, vacation homes in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island and a $39 million contemporary-art collection. The judge said he was surprised that Dreier’s letter showed an “understanding” of his crimes. Letters that victims wrote to the judge depicted Dreier as “arrogant, condescending and cruel” – Bloomberg

If he had taken the zeroriskHR profile, I wonder what his scores would have been on empathy towards others and adherence to rules.

We know that statistically, a good fit to a benchmark score, will contribute to peak performance.

One alleged Fraudster returns to the US, the other goes missing!


With his cowboy boots stuffed with cash, platinum, a fake passport in his own alias name and swiss bearer notes, the dimwit alleged mortgage ponzi schemer Christopher Warren took a cab from Toronto airport to the US border.  Huffington Post reported that as Warren was on his whirlwind adventure, he showed flight crews a stash of gold.

I’m not sure these were the boots Warren was wearing (they are gorgeous huh?) when he got busted at the border, but  “Court documents alleged they defrauded investors and mortgage companies of $100 million since 2006. The fraudulent deals involved 500 homes and condominiums in California, Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado and Arizona”   ——-

News today that Venezuela seized Stanford Bank , reminded me that Allen Stanford is missing after allegedly scheming 8 Billion out of  50,000 customers. Huffington Post reports that Stanford’s damage could match the Madoff ponzi scandal, and lists the “most shocking” allegations…

  1. Stanford posted identical returns two years in a row, in 1995 and 1996, indicating the fraud has been going on for at least 13 years.
  2. Stanford and CFO James Davis have “wholly failed” to cooperate with the SEC investigation.
  3. There was no army of analysts combing through Stanford’s multi-billion-dollar portfolio. Rather, the only research conducted on companies in which he was investing came from Stanford himself, and CFO James Davis.
  4. Stanford told at least one client that the SEC was freezing CDs, a blatant impossibility.
  5. Stanford lost money from the Madoff ponzi scheme, “despite the bank’s public assurances to the contrary.” One analyst puts the loss at $400,000.
  6. Despite repeated calls from the SEC to Stanford’s Antigua-based accounting firm, the accountants never answered their phones.
  7. And as if the SEC couldn’t put it any clearer, Stanford’s public statements about its investments “are false.”

Bloomberg reports that Michael Zarich, a senior investment officer with Antigua- based Stanford International Bank, in a sworn deposition, described how “Stanford told investors the program had positive returns for periods in which clients actually lost money. The firm claimed a return of 18.04 percent in 2000 when actual investors lost as much as 7.5 percent, according to the complaint. In 2008 client pitch books, Stanford presented hypothetical data under the heading “Historical Performance” alongside the audited 2005 through 2008 figures, the complaint said.”

– Frank Abrams is the founder of  zenPeak Inc.,  helping companies find and retain peak performers.

Diamond Handcuffs for alleged Wall St. Scammer

It’s sad to see the pictures of all the happy faces at the Madoff & Co.  Christmas party on the company website. Why? The legit trade execution firm is now tainted with the shadowy dealings of founder, and former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff, who ran a separate hedge fund that has imploded in what he allegedly described himself as a “a giant Ponzi scheme”.

As a commodity broker myself in days past, I can tell you I never met a fellow broker or trader who liked the term “hedge fund”. Originally the thinking was to create funds to balance other asset classes held by rich folks, hence the term, but the reality is they are speculation funds. And in this case speculation, greed and perhaps fraud have made the front pages, but at the bottom of the page. This news is overshadowed today by the auto bailout bill not being passed by the US Senate, but it is very very big news for Wall St. since the Madoff funds investors were the smart guys of Wall St. and total losses may be from 17 $billion up to 50 $billion.

Supposedly turned in to the authorities by his sons, if it is true this would be the largest ponzi scheme in history, and like all of them the unraveling starts when people demand their money back, and fresh funds coming in are not available to service the prior “investors”. Hedge fund redemptions, forced selling and trading losses don’t help matters.

Bloomberg reports that “Jim Voss who runs due diligence firm Aksia LLC, said he spent several months probing Madoff’s firm on behalf of clients, only to recommend against investing in it.

Among the red flags, Vos said: Madoff’s auditor, Friehling & Horowitz, operated from a 13-by-18-foot office in Rockland County, New York. Vos had an investigator stake out the office. A call to the New City, New York, office of Friehling & Horowitz after business hours wasn’t returned.

“I’m shocked by how investors turned a blind eye to returns that were too good to be true, constant steady small positive monthly returns,” Vos said. “When something is too good to be true, it probably is.”

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