In the summer of 2008, Pali Capital’s co-founders, Brad Reifler and Bert Cohen started fighting over their boutique bank.Cohen and other large shareholders had launched a plan to oust Reifler from Pali, according to a new report in Reuters.
And Reifler was not happy. According to the lawsuit, he sent Cohen emails calling Cohen “a bitter lonely arse” and saying “you should just kill yourself…do everyone a favour.”
Update: Brad adds context to the text.
Background: Cohen and the shareholders suspected Reifler had “secretly run Pali as his own private fiefdom,” according to a June 2008 lawsuit. They wanted to fire him for a whole bunch of reasons.
The lawsuit alleges Reifler paid himself extra millions on the side, claiming things like “loan guarantee fees” and “consulting services.”
And he loved to sue people. Pali Capital’s legal fees skyrocketed from $4.5 million to $13.8 million from 2008 to 2009, mostly because of Reifler’s fees. He filed twelve lawsuits in a 10 year period.
It also seems like Reifler funded a side business, an arts and crafts store called Studio U, with money from Pali Capital.
Then again, employees enjoyed $1 million holiday parties at the Guggenheim, trips on the corporate jet, visits to the shooting range on Reifler’s estate, and “Pali Poker” nights, with performances by the Rockettes, Knicks cheerleaders and John Legend.
The shareholders ended up getting their way. Later in October 2008, Reifler “resigned.”
Last month, Pali shut down.