always with the three names

Yesterday afternoon, federal prosecutors charged Fredrick Douglas Scott, the self-described “youngest African-American hedge fund founder in history,” with engaging “in a wire fraud conspiracy to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors1,” which he used to buy Caramel Macchiatos, stay in hotels with views of the Holland Tunnel, and bail his friends out of jail.2 At this time, there appear to be several inconsistencies with the stories Scott has told clients and friends, which include:

  • The claim he manages $3.7 billion.
  • The claim he makes $96,000/year (“[Scott] filled out a financial affidavit claiming his salary is $96,000. Scott then told pretrial services he makes $200,000 but takes home only $50,000 a year, prosecutors said. Scott’s personal account at TD Bank showed over $700,000 “flowing in and out,” but as of April 30 his ACI Capital Group account was overdrawn by $91.24.”)
  • The claim his in-laws were his get out of jail free card (“Scott [has said] his wife’s parents have ‘Italian diplomatic status,’ and he boasted to the FBI that if he got in trouble, she would be his ‘ace in the hole.’”)

Will we find out that the above weren’t so much lies as misunderstandings in the days to follow? Maybe! At this time, however, the most pressing issue Scott may want to resolve would be that of his representation, which is currently not returning his calls. Read more »

If you were going to try and extort money Bear Stears alum, how would you do it? Would you call him at his new job and talk trash about his wife? Would you call his house and tell his wife he was running around on her with another woman? Would you call his mother-in-law in New Jersey and breathe heavily into the phone? Or would you bring out the big guns and start sending pizzas, sometimes 20 at a time, to his home in New Canaan, as a sign you really meant business? Donato Anthony Minicozzi chose all of the above. Read more »

Among the many reasons typically cited by hedge fund managers who choose to run their business out of Connecticut instead of New York are: 1. The room to stretch their shit out 2. Proximity to the Long Island Sound 3. Convenience for those already living in the area. Some probably also believe that the Fairfield County is slightly safer than New York City. That you’re not going to get jumped walking out of the office or beaten with a tire iron because you messed with someone’s man or woman. OR WILL YOU? Read more »

Back in December 2007, things weren’t going so well for Matthew Marshall Taylor. He’d just been fired from Goldman Sachs and not only was he out of a job, but his prospects for finding a new one didn’t look so hot, on account of the fact that Goldman planned to put a note in his file detailing the reason he’d been let go– “for building an ‘inappropriately large’ proprietary trading position”– and it seemed unlikely anyone at the firm would be open to serving as a reference for him moving forward.  Three months later, however, one bank told MMT that there was room for him at their inn. Morgan Stanley, apparently having decided the incident at Goldman was but an asterisk in what would be a long and fruitful career, told Taylor to come on down, employing him for over four years until he left in July of his own accord and not because of any legal issues relating to his work at Goldman Sachs. Read more »

This is his story. Read more »

Imagine, if you will, that you are a stock-picking robot. You’ve put in the time, come up through the trenches, and have finally started to garner the respect you deserve. Investors are flocking to your fund, begging to put in as much money as you’ll let them. People were wary at first, not sure what to make of your style, but you’ve finally proved to them you’re the real deal. Life is good. Then some two-bit hacks come along and threaten to destroy everything you’ve worked for, sullying the reputation of legitimate stock-picking robots with the one they used as a front for their scam.

Starting at the age of sixteen, the defendants, twin brothers Alexander John Hunter and Thomas Edward Hunter, developed an elaborate scheme to manipulate the prices of penny stocks at the expense of unwitting investors. The Hunters concocted and hyped the tale of a “stock picking robot” named “Marl” that they claimed could identify penny stocks that were poised to appreciate sharply in value. In their email newsletters and websites (doublingstocks.com and daytradingrobot.com), the defendants represented that the “robot” was a highly sophisticated computer trading program and the product of extensive research and development. The defendants’ story was persuasive. Approximately 75,000 investors, the vast majority of whom lived in the United States, paid at least $1,200,000 for annual subscriptions to the Doubling Stocks newsletter and copies of the robot software. In reality, the “stock picking robot” was a work of fiction.

Did “Marl” come up with brilliant investment ideas based on painstaking research, meetings with management, and complex analysis? No, in fact he did not. Read more »

It probably wouldn’t be too out of bounds to say that at least a handful of you have considered jerking off in a coworker’s water bottle. Conservatively. As prudent risk managers however, you’ve held off until you could quantify how much non-reward you would be getting with each unit of risk. Finally, and not a moment too soon for some, we got answers. Read more »