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Former Online Brokerage Chief Offers Handy How-To-Guide Re: Getting Banned From The Securities Industry

Regardless of what you think of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a good rule of thumb is that if you are regulated by the agency, you probably don’t want to go out of your way to unnecessarily insult and/or anger it. In fact, to play it safe, you might want to just show the place complete and total deference, whether you’re violating its rules or not. This is an attitude that many investment professionals have adopted over the years, some of their own volition, others by strong advisement. Then you have Sheldon Maschler. The former chief trader of Datek Online, who in 2003 paid a $29.2 million fine and was banned from the securities industry, took a different approach. From Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson’s new book, Dark Pools:

During the hearings, Maschler displayed a stunning irrevenerce toward the regulators. One day, he showed up in bathing trunks and a T-shirt that read NASDAQ SUCKS. The judge, outraged, tossed him out, telling him to come back in a different shirt the following day. Maschler did as ordered– wearing a T-shirt that read NASDAQ SUCKS in different colors.

Regulators were quickly crawling all over Maschler’s ragtag office. One day, a typical one in the market for Datek, each trader sat staring at his Watcher in Maschler’s basement, all decked out in their standard work uniform– baggy shorts, T-shirts, tennis shoes or flip-flops. Suddenly, they all noticed an odd presence in the room: two men in crisp suits looming over the stairwell door.

Maschler exploded like a grenade.

“Who…the FUCK…are YOU!” he screamed, jumping from his seat and jabbing his Macanudo in the air.

“We’re from the SEC,” one of the suits said. “We’re looking for Sheldon Maschler.”

“Who the FUCK let you in!”

“The door was open.”

“If my fly was open, would you suck my dick?”

The Datek traders buckled in their seats, struggling to contain their laughter.

“Now get upstairs and RING THE FUCKING BELL!” Maschler roared.

The two SEC officials sheepishly crept back upstairs– and rang the bell. Maschler pressed the intercom buttom.

“Hello, who is it?” he said calmly.

There was a pause. Then, “It’s the SEC.”

“Come on down!”

Maschler greeted them warmly, all smiles, backslapping. “Now, wasn’t that easier?” he said, waving around his Macanudo and blowing smoke into their faces.

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137 Responses to “Former Online Brokerage Chief Offers Handy How-To-Guide Re: Getting Banned From The Securities Industry”

  1. Koolaidisfun says:

    I need to use that line, completely wins a conversation.

  2. Laxbro says:

    "One day, he showed up in bathing trunks and a T-shirt that read NASDAQ SUCKS. The judge, outraged, tossed him out, telling him to come back in a different shirt the following day. Maschler did as ordered– wearing a T-shirt that read NASDAQ SUCKS in different colors."

    NKI

  3. Guestard says:

    Regarding your fly… can you sign a confie before I answer that?

    J. Travolta

  4. V. McCrudden says:

    I guess this is what my anger management counselor meant by learning how to cool down after a confrontation, wish I would have known about the backslapping, warmth and smiles strategy earlier.

  5. Laxbro says:

    Wearing Crocs is a lot like getting blown by an SEC agent. Both feel good, until you look down and realize you're gay.

  6. guest says:

    I guess the server blocked Bonobos ads in Meschler's office.

  7. guest says:

    This Maschler character is gold. Surely there are other stories of his irreverent exploits…

    • S. Patterson says:

      A distinct possibility!

    • fss says:

      Here's a link to a NYT article from 1998 that has some good nuggets from earlier on (It's ostensibly about Jeff Citron, who later founded Vonage, but Shelly figures heavily). I was a client of his at Heartland when the SEC kicked him out of the biz for good. http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/10/business/golden

    • fss says:

      Here's an example I particularly like. It takes a master criminal to make $6.5MM selling stock to a fictional investor:

      New charges have surfaced recently. Two weeks ago, the S.E.C. filed a civil fraud suit contending that Mr. Maschler and four others, including executives at the Alter Sales Company, an automotive firm in Florida, collaborated in a 1993 scheme to sell unregistered Alter shares to a fictitious foreign investor.

      The suit contends that Mr. Maschler, serving as the Datek account executive for the fictitious investor, failed to make adequate inquiries to determine whether there were any restrictions on the sales of those shares, the proceeds of which were later placed in offshore accounts. The S.E.C. says it is seeking ''disgorgement'' of $6.5 million in illegal profits from Mr. Maschler and the others.

  8. Put_Option says:

    Would do it even if your fly wasn't open…

    – L. Tilton

  9. inlovewithpmco says:

    That guy is my new Hero, that is brilliant. Very Spike Lee 25th hour with the blow job comment

  10. gab says:

    "…each trader sat staring at his Watcher"

    What's a Watcher ?

  11. Lowly Assistant says:

    The shirt says, "Cross your eyes and you'll see the sail boat," while the rosacea says, "Poor me…another, mothefucker."

  12. Guest says:

    I stopped reading after "Former Online Brokerage Chief Offers Handy"…sounds about right.

  13. guest says:

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  14. Abe_Froman_ says:

    No respect for the justice system
    -L. Flynt

  15. what what says:

    I hope Nick Swardson plays him in the movie

  16. Selectnet says:

    SOES Bandit

    • collusioncontusion says:

      Thanks there grandpa. Hey! I hear they are going to REQUIRE spreads in certain stocks to be .50, you know, kinda like they tried to put you in jail for!

  17. guest says:

    Bill Brasky walks into an SEC hearing….

  18. Guesticles says:

    Anyone willing to make a market in the over/under on number of bypasses that guy has had?

  19. James Gorman says:

    Anyone know where I could get one of those T-shirts?

  20. runsinthefamily says:

    Matt, what do you have to say about this:

    "Joshua M. Levine, 34, a former Datek executive and one of the chief architects of the Island E.C.N., were also accused of stock or bookkeeping fraud. "
    The New York Times
    By David Barboza
    January 15, 2003

    • guest says:

      And this: "MAY 12, 1986: Securities and Exchange Commission accuses Dennis B. Levine of Drexel Burnham Lambert of making $12.6 million in illegal trading on inside information since 1980."

  21. runsinthefamily says:

    How many times did GS ask you about this during their interviews??

  22. Feng shui says:

    Just fucking the justice..

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