Remember Gryphon Financial, the boiler room scam operated by Kenneth Marsh that claimed to have a “hardcore business” run by a ten-man trading desk who “beat up hedge funds” together and of whom no less than George Soros supposedly said “Alone, the Gryphon Financial are incredible, together they are unstoppable”? Much of that turned out not to be true in the strict sense of “occurring in physical reality.” But as Marsh’s lawyers have explained in court, Gryphon’s advertised team-based approach was not entirely fake, either, insofar as a whole roster of personalities inhabited Marsh’s mind:
“There was Mr. Marsh…there was Little Kenny. Fred was the bad guy,” Maurice Preter, a Columbia University psychiatry professor testified in the case.
Similarly, while the actual George Soros didn’t actually have much to say about Gryphon Financial, alone or together, the Hungarian-accented voice inside Marsh’s head was only too happy to provide both trade recommendations and ad copy. As was Barrington Q.X. Pennywhistle V, CFA:
To populate his imaginary world, Marsh dreamed up friends who hailed from a social orbit he aspired to inhabit.
“He sort of created for himself a world of important men, anyone from George Soros to all of these bizarre names of powerful waspy fifth generation luminaries in his field, which is finance investing,” Preter, the psychiatrist, said.
The saddest irony of all, though, is that in some ways Marsh actually might have fit in quite well on a real trading floor:
“He’s a husky 44-year old with tattoos, but he’s basically a four-year-old boy in arrested development,” Preter said.