I’ve had some fun these last few days proposing counterintuitive theories for why Citi might not suck as much as you probably think it does and it’s nice to see others joining in the pastime, even if this sounds a little far-fetched:

The district court’s logic appears to overlook the possibilities (i) that Citigroup might well not consent to settle on a basis that requires it to admit liability, (ii) that the S.E.C. might fail to win a judgment at trial, and (iii) that Citigroup perhaps did not mislead investors.

That piece of rank conjecture is from the Second Circuit’s opinion on an appeal* of Judge Rakoff’s rejection of the settlement between the SEC and Citi over some mortgage-backed securities. Here’s DealBook: Read more »

Lenny Dykstra, described by his ex-best friend Jim Cramer as one of “the greats” in the investing industry, has reportedly been charged with with bankruptcy fraud for “selling items from his $18 million California mansion.” Read more »

Again, just one of those things I thought you needed to know. Unlike Pappajohn Capital and the Misfit Barbarian Fund, however, this name is now up for grabs, as the firm and its partners have been sued by the SEC. In the likely event they must close up shop, this baby’s yours! Read more »

  • 06 Dec 2010 at 11:59 AM

The Justice Department Feels So Betrayed

As was expected, the Justice Department announced just now that is has charged 500 people in its “largest-ever crackdown on scam artists.” According to officials, the losses cost victims millions in some cases with the total tab coming to $8.3 billion “These are staggering, staggering numbers,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. But you know what hurts more than the money? The lost of trust. Never again will these people be able to believe a money manager when he promises huge ass returns or when he says he has no idea why that tramp was sending him nude text messages. Thus, the name of the 3.5 month long investigation was appropriately named: Operation Broken Trust. Read more »

This afternoon, Connecticut regulators accused investment adviser Southridge Capital and its chief executive Stephen Hicks of “preparing false financial statements” that “inflated the assets of five funds from 2004 through 2007 so that they could charge higher fees,” in an alleged scam that netted them an ill-gotten $26 million. Additionally, many investors have apparently put in redemption requests as far back as 2001, though none of them have seen a dime. Attorney General said the firm told “lucrative lies” which hurt not only its clients “but also the entire economy.” How is Hicks taking the news? Is he ashamed and/or embarrassed? Is he defiantly calling the charges bogus, telling family and friends he’ll fight them? Is he proud of what he’s done and the alliterative prose he inspired in Blumenthal? Or does have no idea he’s been accused of anything, having only seen a bunch of missed calls on his phone? Read more »

As part of the settlement, the regulator agreed to allow the Countrywide founder to drop the money in small denominations from his private jet, over a cattle ranch in Montana, where SEC staffers will have 30 minutes to scurry around picking up every ever last bill,** en route to a much needed visit to Fresno, where Moz likes to pop in every now and then for the ego boosts derived from thinking about how many people he and his associates fucked in town. [CNN Money]

**Gotta let him have a LITTLE fun, given how disproportionately harsh the sentencing was to the crime, which people can hardly even remember.

Remember Paul Greenwood? He didn’t get as much press as some other hedge fund managers running Ponzi schemes, even though he should have, if only for the fact that he spent a good deal of investor money on a 1,348 teddy bears, valued at $3 million in total, showcased in “collector display cabinetry” at the top of a dramatic spiral staircase in his home and kept track of via a spreadsheet that noted specifics like “full-dressed in sailor suit, lavender-tipped mohair coat [and] felt spats. Anyway, he admitted today that he financed this passion via a “sort of” Ponzi scheme. Read more »

Remember Ross Mandell, the Sky Capital founder who was accused of conspiracy and securities fraud in a scam that was (allegedly!) perpetrated using “boiler room-like tactics,” which could result in him going downtown for 25 years? He’s pretty sure he’s innocent and he’s like to share that innocence with the world. Read more »