• 02 Sep 2008 at 3:25 PM

Did Ken Langone Set Up Eliot Spitzer?

There’s still a bit of a mystery behind the fall of disgraced former New York governor and one time self-styled “sheriff of Wall Street.” The mystery began when the prosecutors who showed up for the arraignment of the managers of the Emperor Club prostitution ring turned out to be from the public corruption office. Why were federal prosecutors specializing in public corruption running the case against hookers?
The reason soon became apparent: the chief executive officer of the State of New York was allegedly a patron of the prostitutes. But there are still doubts about how the federales got involved in this case. Supposedly they were tipped off by some unusual wire-transfers, although many scoff at that story. The suspicion among many–including some reportedly close to Spitzer himself–has been that someone with a grudge against Spitzer handed the case to the feds after having uncovered it independently.
Who could it be? Spitzer had lots of enemies, including some in organized crime and some in the Bush administration. But a lot of the speculation settled on Dick Grasso and Ken Langone, co-defendants in the long-running case Spitzer had brought based on Dick Grasso’s pay-package while he was the head of the New York Stock Exchange. Those guys hated Spitzer. And new revelations by Charlie Gasparino are bound to rekindle the speculation.


When the news that Spitzer was the subject of a prostitution investigation broke in the New York Times, Langone told CNBC that he knew about Spitzer’s hooker problem. “We all have our own private hells,” he said, “I hope his private hell is hotter than anybody else’s. I had no doubt about his lack of character and integrity. It would only be a matter of time, I didn’t think he would do it this soon or the way he did it. But I know for sure he went himself to a post office and bought $2,800 worth of mail orders to send to the hooker. . . . I know it. I know somebody who was standing in back of him in line. . .”
Nearly everyone who heard Langone’s remark wondered the same thing: was Langone having Spitzer followed? As one person put it at a DealBreaker happy hour, “Do the kind of people who stand in line at the post office even get to talk to Ken Langone?”
“It wasn’t long that an urban legend made its way around Wall Street and among reporters covering Spitzer that some combination of Grasso, Langone, possibly another Spitzer hater, former AIG CEO Hank Green¬berg, and private detective Bo Dietl had followed Spitzer, and brought the case to the Feds,” Charlie Gasparino writes in the introduction to the paperback edition to his book King of the Club.
Langone’s friends didn’t believe the legend, Dietl said he had nothing to do with it and Langone eventually denied it on CNBC. He was just lucky enough to have a friend in the right place at the right time, he explained. He had only learned the story about the post office after the news about Spitzer had broken, Langone claimed. But Gasparino points out that something that had happened many months before suggesting that Grasso, at least, knew something long before the feds.

“We hear he has something going with a young girl,” was Grasso’s comment about the former attorney general and then governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, when I began asking him sometime in early 2007 how he felt about Spitzer’s investigation of his pay package, which now included a full inquiry into whether Grasso had an affair with his secretary and even fathered a love child.

So were Langone and Grasso as innocent as they claimed in this matter?
“Maybe so, but when I confronted Grasso with his earlier statement–the one he made to me more than a year earlier that he knew about Spitzer’s extramarital ac¬tivities–he just laughed before hanging up the telephone,” Gasparino writes.

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Comments (13)

  1. Posted by Madmoney | September 2, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Using the term “set-up” implies entrapment or some compulsion/trickery by Langone to get Eliot to committ the crime, right?
    I think uncover, expose, reveal, etc. would be a more appropriate word choice that would leave all the guilt on Eliot – where it belongs.

  2. Posted by HAM05 | September 2, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    i heard it was bess, in the kitchen, with the candlesticks.

  3. Posted by guest | September 2, 2008 at 3:38 PM

    You forgot the melted butter

  4. Posted by girl | September 2, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    brilliant, Ham!

  5. Posted by guest | September 2, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    i’ll tell you what brought down elliott spitzer it was the Sham -WOW.

  6. Posted by Anal_yst | September 2, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    first the feet, then the mayo, then the shamwow, what the fuck?

  7. Posted by guest | September 2, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    I believe Langone had something to do with it,,that guy is one nasty mofo…

  8. Posted by guest | September 2, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    If Eliot had never been caught he would still be spreading mayo between those thighs.

  9. Posted by guest | September 2, 2008 at 8:26 PM

    you people with your mayo comments are the biggest dick blowers on the planet – shut the fuck up already
    el stupido

  10. Posted by guest | September 3, 2008 at 12:13 AM

    Who can set me up with Ashley Dupre with her big tits?

  11. Posted by guest | September 3, 2008 at 9:10 AM

    @ 1 uncharacteristically lucid for a db post.
    for an ivy league frat boy pussy rich kid analyst tittie-bar frequenting dweeb, that’s pretty good.

  12. Posted by guest | September 3, 2008 at 9:11 AM

    @ 7 yeah freaking right and spitzer’s an altar boy (or whatever the jewish equivalent of that is).
    get a clue fratbot.

  13. Posted by guest | September 3, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Gasparino…sure, i believe every word the windbag hack has to say…