Monday, October 19, 2009

Marc Dreier

For those of you who may have forgotten, Marc Dreier was the big finance-world criminal who made headlines just before Bernie Madoff. Madoff's scheme was so large that it drove everything else of that genre out of the minds of the personally unaffected, but the Dreier case has its own charm.

There is, of course a wiki article if you'd like a more detailed refresher course.

Very briefly, though, Dreier was a lawyer who duped a lot of hedge funds into buying forged notes, many of them supposedly issued by Solow Realty, a corporate vehicle of a real-enough client of Dreier's, developer Sheldon Solow.

But he also forged notes supposedly issued by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. This turned out to be a bit of overreaching. People who moved in Solow's circles knew Dreier and vice versa, and they could take it on faith Dreier was speaking for Solow as to the notes. But the OTPP? The would-be note buyers wanted re-assurance. And so it was that it was at OTPP headquarters in Toronto that the scheme reached its bizaare denoument on Tuesday, December 2.

This comes to mind because Bryan Burrough has a fine article on the Dreier case in the November issue of VANITY FAIR. what I especially like about the Burrough story is his discussion of the long and tangled Solow/Dreier relationship.

Dreier was often Solow's pitbull. When Solow pointed out a target, Dreier's fangs could sink truly and deeply. There was for example a tussle with Peter Morton of the Hard Rock Cafe chain, in which a judge dismissed the third Drier/Solow lawsuit on point, saying Solow has "had so many bites at the apple, [he] has swallowed the core."

And there was a dispute between Solow and another Manhattan developer, Peter Kalikow. The Solow/Dreier campaign of vindictiveness at Kalikow's expense led to some positively sputtering language by Judge Burton Lifland, who described Dreier's actions as "tacky, shabby, base, low, malicious, petty, nasty, unsavory" and other like descriptors.

That's laying it out for us, your honor.

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