Harvard Investment Agent Didn’t Want To Overstep His Bounds Re: Asking For A Slightly Flashier Bribe Than US News & World Report’s #19 On 2010 Affordable Midsize Cars List

Though it’s entirely possible that he did attempt to overstep his bounds in a negotiation that went down like this:

“If I’m gonna do this for you I want a Cadillac. With the seat warmers.”
“You’ll get a Chrysler Sebring and you’ll like it.”
“Bull shit! Bull shit!”
“No…no I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“It’s okay, you’re emotional.”
“Do you think I can get it in red?”
“Sure, we’ll see what we can do.”

An investment agent who represented Harvard University faces charges in Romania that he took more than $1 million in bribes to induce the school to buy forest land at inflated prices. Dragos Lipan Secu arranged with unnamed sellers to artificially boost prices that Scolopax, a Harvard-owned company, paid for timberland between 2007 and 2009, anti-corruption prosecutors said in a statement Jan. 21, the day after Lipan Secu was arrested. Lipan Secu collected bribes valued at 4.45 million lei ($1.3 million), as well as a 2007 trip to the Canary Islands and a Chrysler Sebring car, prosecutors said. He was also charged with money laundering, and his wife, Mariana, was arrested for complicity. The two are being held in preventive custody in Bihor county and are facing more than 10 years in jail.

Harvard Overpaid for Timber as Romanian Agent Held for Bribery [Bloomberg]

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26 Responses to “Harvard Investment Agent Didn’t Want To Overstep His Bounds Re: Asking For A Slightly Flashier Bribe Than US News & World Report’s #19 On 2010 Affordable Midsize Cars List”

  1. The Defense says:

    Your honor, as the Chrysler Sebring (hereinafter defined, "POS,") had over 25,000 miles on it, any residual value beyond its initial purpose as a child's play thing had been extinguished. My client was within his rights as a citizen of planet Earth to confiscate said POS, for his use as a conveyance and/or communal toilet.

  2. Casino Comedian says:

    I'd bribe them not to give me that car!

  3. Guest says:

    It's Romania, what do you expect? Sebring is a fucking unheard of luxury.

    • Laxbro says:

      Yea, Romania is a horrible country.

      – some Anthony Bourdain show filmed in Romania
      – my parents preferred to get wasted in France and Italy during holidays
      – vaguely recall something from AP world history, but I was smoking hella weed during that time in my life

  4. Laxbro says:

    Heard Count Dracula drove a sick Chrysler 300.

  5. Laxbro says:

    Borat: If this car drive into a group of gypsies, will there be any damage to the car?

  6. V. Borodin, CFA says:

    I will live in Cambridge. And I will marry a round Women's Studies major and raise Winklevii, and she will smother them at a young age. And I will have a Dodge Ram.. maybe even a "recreational vehicle." And drive from state to state pitching endowments offering them my services. Do they let you do that?

    -List of demands submitted to Harvard Endowment in exchange for not ripping them off

  7. HighFrequencyHater says:

    "Under Romanian law, a person who reports a crime before it comes to the attention of prosecutors receives immunity, Saplacan said, adding that the sellers won’t be investigated."

    Love the game theory aspect of this.

    • Guest says:

      So if Lipan Secu (stupid name) had reported being bribed, he'd have gotten off and kept the goods? Block life baby.

  8. Alt_EST says:


  9. Dragos says:

    You can always tell a Harvard man, you just can't tell him much. Other than to buy trees. You can always tell him to buy trees.

    • Guest says:

      "Whenever there's a great disaster, there always seems to be a Harvard Man in the middle of it."

      -Thomas Sowell

      • guest says:

        Except at Harvard itself, where an Oxford man set up the endowment for its '08 plunge.


        a certain mustachioed ex-PIMCOite

    • Laxbro says:

      I remember during my junior and senior year this school called Hartwick College was blowing up my email and mailbox at my house. Every week another huge packet of information via Fed Ex. Finally I called them to tell this D III shithole to chill. "Sir, you checked the Hartwick box on your SAT."

      "I checked Harvard, chief"

  10. guest says:

    always with the three names

  11. Guest says:

    This is why college endowments should farm their money out to alternative asset managers. A real investment professional would never get suckered into buying overpriced trees.

    – J. Paulson

  12. OMG says:

    OMG ! People are easy to be manipulated.

    Just by chance…I know very well this subject

    1. Let's discuss about numbers:
    The price of 1 ha (arround 2 acres) of forest in Romania is 2500-3500 -the lowest price in EU.

    In France,Germany,etc. the price is above 10000 euro/ha!!!

    The aquisition was checked and rechecked by lawers !!! and the average price of 1 ha was 2600 euro/ha !!!

    So no inflated price at all!!! I say exactly the opposite-the lowest price of forest foreign investors in Romania

    2. Let's discuss about allegations

    This scandal was started by a former forest broker.This guy was very happy at that moment.This aquisittion proces was a gold mine for him and at that moment nobody claim nothing.In the meantime this broker spent all the money and also in this moment is sick and start to have financial problems.Many former colaborators borrowed him many and no chance to pay them back.The last chance was to make a huge scandal and hope that in this way nobody ask him the money back.Something like:"You see what I'm capable to do,so don't ask me your many back because I'm dangerous".

    And the srory is very complicated…no space here to discuss.

    My advice…to all ignorants: don't speak about something that you don't know!