The not-exactly-wireless-internet company continues to excel at the only business it’s ever really been in, which is losing money; it’s set $1.8 billion on fire since it went into bankruptcy not quite two years ago, to cover interest payments and to keep the pipes from freezing.
Well, Phil Falcone (‘s investors) dumped some $2.9 billion into the thing, and he seems pretty determined that not a single dollar of that amount will be left when the desiccated hull of LightSquared winds up in Charlie Ergen’s daughter’s college fund. Read more »
Phil Falcone is sticking with his narrative for a little debacle called LightSquared: First, GPS companies started using his spectrum without permission, and then said that if Phil started to use it to provide 4G all over this great country, it would be a great country littered with airline wrecks. This planted a seed in the twisted mind of the wickedest man in the whole wide world, Charlie Ergen, who is trying to buy the entire electromagnetic spectrum so that anyone with entertainment needs will have no choice but to come to him and his Dish Network empire. Now, being a man absent of moral fiber, Charlie Ergen thought nothing of buying up as much LightSquared debt as he could on the cheap, even though he more or less explicitly wasn’t allowed to. This “fraudulently deprived Harbinger of control of LightSquared when it was needed most,” so that Charlie and Dish could swoop in and buy the precious if not entirely usable spectrum for nothing. Which, whether you buy Phil’s story or are partial to Charlie’s “it was for my daughter’s college fund” angle, is pretty much what happened.
A year ago this August, we noted that a brow-beaten Falcone, on a time out from the securities industry and putting out fires daily with regard to his passion project, LightSquared, was just going to start suing everyone. Which he kind of has! In the last 11 months alone, the hedge fund manager has filed lawsuits against: 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]
Philip Falcone resigned from the board of LightSquared Inc., the bankrupt wireless-spectrum owner he has tried to build into a rival to U.S. mobile providers, amid negotiations with creditors to reorganize the company. Falcone and four other people appointed to the board by his Harbinger Capital Partners voluntarily resigned on June 12, according to a letter filed with the Federal Communications Commission and posted on the agency’s website. Falcone, 51, had been fighting to keep control of the company throughout its two years in bankruptcy. At one point, Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charles Ergen made a $2.22 billion offer for its assets, only to withdraw the bid at the last minute. Falcone accused Ergen of acquiring LightSquared debt improperly to game the bankruptcy process. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman rejected a Falcone-backed reorganization plan in May, saying it was largely unfair to Ergen, while she also faulted Ergen’s behavior during the case. Since then, LightSquared and its creditors have entered court-supervised mediation to work out a new plan. [Bloomberg]
Falcone, whose Harbinger Capital hedge fund owns the bankrupt LightSquared, a high-speed wireless start-up, is asking the Federal Communications Commission to take “immediate” action to stem the barrels of red ink flowing from the company. In a letter to the FCC, Falcone is urging the regulator to “mitigate further damage” to Harbinger, which invested $3 billion in LightSquared only to see the agency pull the plug on the company in 2012. On Wednesday, Falcone asked the FCC to take “immediate, positive action” to reverse Harbinger’s losses, according to the letter sent by his legal team. [NYP]