Florian Homm, 53, was taken into custody by Italian police at 12:30 p.m. on March 8 at the world-famous museum that houses Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation…Homm is accused in a criminal complaint filed March 6 in federal court in Los Angeles of defrauding investors in hedge funds he controlled, causing $200 million in losses. He is charged with four counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud. He faces as long as 75 years in prison if convicted on all counts. The founder and former chief investment officer of Absolute Capital Management Holdings Ltd. is accused of “cross trading” billions of shares of penny stocks between the company’s funds to boost the value of the otherwise illiquid securities.
Homm recently published a book in German called “Rogue Financier: The Adventures of an Estranged Capitalist,” according to the affidavit. In the book, Homm, who is about 6 foot, 6 inches (2 meters) tall, wrote that he had “$500,000 stashed in my underwear, my briefcase and my cigar box,” when he left Palma de Mallorca on a private plane Sept. 18, 2007. His “mule and friend Giorgio” was carrying another $700,000, according to the translation in the affidavit. “As the jet climbed I was profoundly unsettled, my mind in a dense fog,” Homm said in the book, according to the court filing. “I was breaking all connections to my former existence: colleagues, clients, acquaintances, friends, bimbos, dogs, family and children, and annihilating my fast fortune in the process.” When he left Mallorca, Homm wrote, he packed the cash around his waist in the very tight Calvin Klein underwear he was wearing and on both sides of his genitals. The money added about 5 centimeters (2 inches) to his waist size, making him look like the “Michelin man,” Homm said, referring to the tire company’s advertising cartoon figure.
Fugitive Fund Manager Stuffed Underwear With Cash, Fled [Bloomberg]
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