Phil Falcone

Remember, back in 2009, when Phil Falcone loaned himself $113 million from a gated investor fund to pay state and federal taxes? Initially his chief operating officer, Peter Jenson, had tried to convince the Harbinger Capital founder to borrow the money against assets like his townhouse, artwork, St. Barts estate, and interest in the Minnesota Wild.

Unfortunately for Jenson, Falcone decided he’d rather be banned from the securities industry than jeopardize his beloved hockey team and told the COO to look into the just-borrow-from-investors option, ultimately deciding it was the wisest idea. It was at this point that Jenson probably should’ve bowed out instead of going along with the plan, which he’s now paying for. Read more »

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]

Two weeks back, Phil Falcone resigned from the board of LightSquared Inc, the bankrupt wireless-spectrum owner he has poured his heart and soul into over the last god-knows-how-many years. He still owns a piece of the company, of course, but now that he’s no longer a director, he’s got a lot more time on his hands to focus on other pursuits, with same level of dedication he previously gave to his old passion project. And now that his waking hours don’t involve dealing with naysayers who would put “may cost 794 lives in aviation accidents over 10 years with disruptions to satellite-aided navigation” in the column for why LightSquared should never see the light of day, he’s got a new dream. And that dream involves weed control, potted plants, and yes, bird feeders, too. Read more »

  • 19 Jun 2014 at 1:17 PM

Phil Falcone Doesn’t Have To Take This Abuse

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]

  • 30 May 2014 at 4:11 PM

Phil Falcone Insists FCC Do What He Cannot

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]

Lightsquared, come on down. Read more »