Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

Steven A. Cohen proved to be a stickler for the letter of the law when it came to paying the criminal penalty imposed on his former hedge fund as part of its guilty plea on insider trading charges. On April 10, Judge Laura Taylor Swain of Federal District Court in Manhattan gave Mr. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors up to 90 days to pay the $848 million penalty, part of an overall $1.2 billion criminal settlement reached with prosecutors last November. On Tuesday, the 90th day since Judge Swain accepted the firm’s guilty plea, Mr. Cohen’s firm made that payment, according to court records. [Dealbook]

When we last checked in with Holly Peterson, she had just released her debut novel, “The Manny,” a book about a rich Upper East Side woman who has an affair with her male nanny. Her father, Pete Peterson, was still working at Blackstone, the firm he founded with Steve Schwarzman. Her then-husband, Rick Kimball, Jr., was still working at Goldman Sachs. Fast forward seven years and much has changed. The elder Peterson has retired. Holly and Rick are no longer together. Rick is no longer with Goldman Sachs, possibly on account of the “naked-themed” Halloween party and “series of” topless backyard barbecues, though perhaps simply because of his newfound passion for hangover prevention ventures.

Yes, much has changed. But, comfortingly so, much has stayed the same. For example, the subject matter of Holly’s latest book, which was a topic of discussion in the Hamptons this week and whose plot can apparently be summed up as “a lotta sex.” Plus! “A stock-fixing scheme.” Bloomberg reports: Read more »

Donald Sterling told a judge his fight to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer is about economics, not ego. “You think I’m doing this for ego?” Sterling asked a lawyer for his wife, Shelly Sterling, during one of many testy exchanges on the second day of a trial to determine whether she had sole authority to sell the National Basketball Association team after having her husband declared incapacitated. Sterling, 80, said he was negotiating a new cable-television contract with 21st Century Fox Inc. and that television providers’ demand for content would continue to drive up the value of sports franchises. The Clippers’ success on the court this year also has created interest from several radio stations to carry the games, he testified. “My wife can’t run anything,” Sterling told a state probate judge in Los Angeles who is deciding the case without a jury. “Of course I believe the team is worth more.” [Bloomberg]

It’s called orientation and training and it’s such a rare and unique time in junior mistmakers’ lives that one guy recounted his own experience to Dealbook as though it was the greatest thing that ever happened to him. Read more »

An ex-Pimco guy is doing croque monsieurs. A BNP risk manager is about to leave for crepes. What will you contribute? If Boeuf Bourguignon is out of your comfort zone, tear up some pieces of a baguette and smear some chocolate on them and call it a day. Read more »

Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners is again suing Dish Network Corp. DISH +0.78% and Chairman Charlie Ergen, this time under the federal racketeering statute. Harbinger is suing both Mr. Ergen and Dish for at least $1.5 billion, saying Mr. Ergen violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act when he acquired the debt of LightSquared—the wireless venture controlled by Harbinger—as Dish was making a bid for the company. Harbinger says Mr. Ergen’s purchases caused it to lose money and control of the LightSquared board. Mr. Falcone and other Harbinger officials resigned from the board as part of negotiations for a bankruptcy court restructuring. “Ergen and his fellow RICO Enterprise members pursued their abusive scheme through wire, mail and bankruptcy fraud, abuse of process, tortious interference with contract, and obstruction of justice,” Harbinger lawyers said in a filing with U.S. District Court in Colorado. Under RICO, originally designed to prosecute organized crime, parties can seek more damages than is typically allowed. [WSJ, related]

  • 08 Jul 2014 at 3:55 PM

Only 50% Of Rajaratnam Brothers Will Do Time

Unlike his brother Raj, currently serving an 11 year sentence for securities fraud, Rengan Rajaratnam will not spend time in the big house. Read more »

Recently acquired TGI Fridays made a play to reinvigorate itself Monday through a promotion that offers an endless supply of any one appetizer for a mere $10. And while some experts considered it a demonstration of long overdue innovation — a twist on all-you-can-eat salad bars — at least one analyst saw it as “an act of desperation.” “Old-line casual diners have been suffering sales declines for years,” said Nick Setyan of Wedbush Securities. “So I’m not really shocked one of them is trying something so out of the ordinary.” Fridays’ so-called “Endless App” promotion allows a customer to choose loaded potato skins, mozzarella sticks, boneless buffalo wings or another starter offered by the chain. And the promotion promises to keep the chosen appetizers coming until the customer eventually losses his appetite for them. What’s more, if reports put out by the 900-unit chain are to be believed, each member of a group can pick a separate appetizer, which they can then collectively share. Fridays was adamant, in fact, that its waitstaff wouldn’t police its patrons. [NYP]