New York magazine gives disgraced Park Avenue lawyer and hedge fund manager impersonator Marc Dreier the treatment this week.
Drier, you’ll remember, was arrested in Toronto late last year attempting to impersonate an official of a Ontario Teachers Pension Plan to get money out of hedge fund giant Fortress. His disheveled perp walk made all the papers. Then Bernie Madoff happened and we forgot all about Dreier.
Now New York gives us some more detail:
•He began expanding his firm through the frauds and lined up clients such as Jay Leno, Wilco, and Michael Strahan. He even hired an aircraft to fly over a party he was hosting in the Hamptons displaying the firm’s name.
• Dreier is accused of selling $700 million in phony notes to thirteen hedge funds and three individuals. More than 200 creditors, including a few hedge funds, have already filed more than $450 million in claims against the firm
•One thing that wasn’t accounted for in the New York story, but we happen to remember from a previous life. The Armando Ruiz the mag mentioned as a cohort of Drier’s could very well be a former PaineWebber stockbroker who was tossed out of the industry in the mid-1990s for ripping off clients such as Jackie Mason and Joan Jett.
•After being arrested he still managed to transfer $10 million from his law firm’s escrow account into his personal coffers. At the same time, one of his shady associates walked into the firm’s conference room, took two paintings and left in a cab.
•He once staged a meeting in a conference room in Solow Realty’s New York offices, during which “Steve Cherniak, the CEO of Solow Realty, walked past, saw the meeting, and shrugged and went on his way. But had he joined the meeting, he would have learned that the hedge-fund representatives believed they were there to see Steve Cherniak—the man they were told was sitting next to Marc Dreier.”
•He created phony notes and financial statements on fake letterhead from Solow’s auditing firm, e-mails that he said had been issued by Solow, and arranged conference calls with people posing as Solow executives.
•He set up phone lines at his law firm. He created fake e-mail addresses. He kept hard-to-trace, no-contract cell phones—”burners” like Tony Soprano used—in a box in his office.
•He bought the requisite toys. Fancy Manhattan apartments, amazing amounts of art, vintage cars and Caribbean hideaways.