As those of you who keep close tabs on the trials and travails of La Familia Falcone know, one of the biggest mistakes Phil made in the last several years was the time he borrowed $113 million from a gated investor fund to cover personal taxes, for which he had failed to set aside enough cash. Falcone learned the hard way that clients don’t take kindly to these sorts of things– even if you pay them back, with interest– and that the Securities and Exchange Commission doesn’t either. Point taken, all that jazz. In retrospect, it might even make sense to Phil re: why people got upset. Having said that, there is no way he, or anyone for that matter, could have predicted anyone would get their panties in a twist over this:
An investor has accused the hedge fund billionaire Philip A. Falcone of using his publicly listed company “to bail himself out” after a reaching an $18 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the weeks after the S.E.C. settlement last August, Mr. Falcone’s hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners was confronted with a flurry of requests from investors to return their money, according to a complaint filed by a Harbinger Group shareholder, Haverhill Retirement System. In a desperate attempt to find capital to replace the money flowing out, according to the lawsuit, Mr. Falcone sold some shares in Harbinger Group, where he is chief executive. He later sold additional shares and added two seats to the board of directors, eventually securing a $400 million investment by the Leucadia National Corporation, the suit contends. By doing so, “Falcone effectively used Company assets to bail himself out of a personal financial crisis,” the complaint said.