Maybe, you thought, Bernie Madoff wouldn’t like prison. Maybe, you thought, after a life of luxury, living in an 8X10 would cramp his style. Maybe, you thought, that he’d have trouble earning 14 cents an hour sweeping the floors, after spending several decades ‘earning’ millions making fake trades. Maybe, you thought, he wouldn’t take to an environment wherein taking your pants off means open season on your ass, after coming from a work environment where nobody blinked an eye when he regularly “dropped his trou in the office to ensure that the line of his shirt buttons was precisely vertical,” without the slightest threat of attack. Maybe, you thought, he’d be home sick. Maybe, you thought, he wouldn’t make any friends. Maybe, you thought, he wouldn’t get picked by any fraternities during rush. Well, you couldn’t be anymore wrong. Not only is Berns quickly adjusting and joining all sorts of groups, but he’s having the time of his life. Read more »
Thirty Months From Now, Danielle Chiesi Could Be Working You For Stock Tips While She Works On Your CuticlesBy Bess Levin
This afternoon, Danielle Chiesi will report to a West Virginia prison for a 30-month stay, for her role in the Galleon insider trading case, wherein she passed valuable tips on to Raj Rajaratnam after the tech execs she worked closely with passed her a few of their own. Chiesi will be bunking at Federal Prison Camp Alderson (former home of Martha Stewart, where “women hide sugar packets and crackers in their socks and conceal larger items like eggs under their shirts”), and while Bloomberg reports that the former beauty queen/Newscastle analyst won’t be living alongside ‘sadistic crack-selling lesbian rapists‘ (“It’s more college campus than Chained Heat, the 1983 exploitation film about women in jail” we’re assured), there may still be a few aspects of prison life about which D-Chi (“they give each other nicknames,” says one former resident) will be less than thrilled. Such as: Read more »
The defense had asked for 6.5 to 8 years on account of 1) the fact that, they say, Raj only made $7.4 million off his trades and 2) the “unique constellation of ailments ravaging his body” that would result in him dying behind bars if given a sentence “anywhere near” the prosecution’s request for 19.5 to 24 years. Read more »
Back in June, the lawyer for Winifred Jiau, expert network empress and accused insider trader, made a simple plea: “Put an end to this misguided prosecution,” Joanna Hendon said. “Send Ms. Jiau back to California, and to her dog.”
While the request might’ve played well with golden retriever lovers, the presiding judge didn’t care. He dragged things out another month, finding Jiau guilty over the summer and later on denying a request for acquittal or a new trial. Was Winifred the person you wanted to work with if you held an elastic view of securities laws and most certainly guilty of insider trading? Unquestionably: yes. Was she an individual who commanded sympathy, leniency or to whom you’d want to throw a bone? Those who benefited from her tips would be the first to tell you hell no.
In fact, she was bossy, she would cancel meetings at the last second, she would demand $300 gift certificates to the Cheesecake factory in one breath and a dozen Thanksgiving lobsters in the next, she would meet you for a pass off of material non-public information and tell you the shellfish you sent were Maine lobsters and she’d specifically request South African lobsters (even though she hadn’t) and then spit in your face and walk away and yes, sometimes you’d sit at your desk after she’d reamed you out over the phone for not giving her “the sugar” and fantasize about various ways you could kill her and make it look like an accident but having said all that: there’s a dog waiting for this lady and judge? She knows people who can make certain that these will be the first words you hear when you wake up and the last one’s you hear before you go to bed, for the rest of your life: Read more »
Back in May, Rengen Rajaratnam, little brother of Raj, made a simple request. For friends of the Galleon founder to send character letters to the judge in an effort to convince him to be lenient in sentencing. Rengen helpfully included some links on the proper formatting to use when drafting such missives and considering all the lives Raj had touched, it shouldn’t have proved too difficult a task. Was it so much to ask that people recall, for instance, the tears of joy he brought to their eyes when he paid an employee to allow herself to be tased? Or the midget gags? Apparently yes because his legal team has been forced to turn to plan B: breaking the news that Raj is dying of a disease the likes of which you can’t even imagine. Read more »
When one is serving a 150 year sentence for running a massive Ponzi scheme, he tends to find himself with time on his hands to think about things. Take Bernie Madoff, for example. He has a job in the joint (working in the commissary) and he gets in daily walks on the track but other than that, the hours are usually spent reflecting. His reflection time over the last couple years has lead to a few big conclusions and chief among them? That he’s been on the receiving end of a bum rap, in more ways than one, which he’s mentioned during several stops on his Legitimate Years Tour. In February, he griped to New York:
“Does anybody want to hear that I had a successful business and did all these wonderful things for the industry?” Bernie continued. “And got all these awards? And so did my family? I did all of this during the legitimate years. No. You don’t read any of that.”
Last month, he reminded New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin that he “was worth a billion dollars before any of this nonsense started” but does anyone ever mention that? No they only care about the net worth accrued from his ill-gotten gains. On the same tour stop, he also suggested that he should be getting credit for his later work (the legitimacy of which is still an open-ended question in his mind), if only for the fact that its complexities could only be understood by the most sophisticated of investors (him).
Still, he speaks about his financial acumen with unmistakable pride. “The strategy that I was using for them, whether it was real or not, was not something that anyone would understand if you were not an expert,” he said. As he put it in an e-mail, “Fred was not [at] all stock market savvy and Saul was not really either. They were strictly Real Estate people. Although I explained the Strategy to them they were not sophisticated enough to evaluate it properly, nor were most of my other individual clients. They were not in a position to perform the necessary due diligence and did not have access to necessary financial info or records.”
Which leads us to Berns’ latest. In an interview with the Times he reasons that he got such a raw deal because the judge, like all of his feeble-brained haters, doesn’t understand how “the industry” works. Read more »
HSBC Banker Who Got Knife Pulled On Him By Ex-Girlfriend For Going On A Date One Day After Break-Up Headed To JailBy Bess Levin
Remeber Toby Carroll? To recap, he’s a New Zealand-born real estate analyst for HSBC who’s been stationed in Dubai for the last several years. In January, he was jailed after his ex-girlfriend, Priscilla Ferreira, found him and a new girl, Danielle Spencer, in his apartment and proceeded to start slashing curtains, furniture, etc, and go after the Danielle with a knife.** The police were called and all three were sent downtown because in Dubai, sex outside marriage is illegal. After a week in the clink Carroll, who friends describe as “a fun-loving party boy who was dedicated to his job, a snappy dresser who liked women but wasn’t womanizer,” was released (as were the ladies who became friends after being forced to share a mattress in the women’s cell at Bur Dubai police station. Hopefully Carroll’s made the most of his freedom over the last 6 months, because he’s set to be sent back after receiving his sentencing last week. Read more »