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Phil Falcone Has Great News For Harbinger Capital Investors, Less Than Great News For The City Of New York

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Over the last 10 months or so, the relationship between hedge fund manager Phil Falcone and his investors has not exactly been mutually satisfying. Not that they've been keeping a list but, if pressed to get into specifics, Harbinger Capital clients might cite a few reasons why they've been less than thrilled with Falcone of late such as: 1) The lackluster returns in Harbinger Capital’s flagship, which have in no way mimicked the highs of 2007. 2) That time he told reporters his investors are idiots. 3) The fact that he's come to adopt a loose definition of the term 'hedge,' and put a whole lot of their money in a wireless venture that the universe seems hell bent on making sure never even has the chance to cause GPS interference. 4) The note those who requested their money back received in July, informing them that rather than getting cash, they'd be the lucky recipients of illiquid LightSquared equity. And then there would be the incident about which they really get pissy, and where things started to go down hill: 5) The time Phil choose to "loan" himself $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes. Today, however, brings word that should do a lot to smooth ruffled feathers. On points 1-4, not much to say there. No one changes in a day. But! On point 5? Big progress. Huge.

Philip Falcone controls a billion-dollar hedge fund but couldn’t cough up $192,182 to pay the city taxes he owes on his two Upper East Side homes. Falcone and his wife, Lisa Marie, failed to pay their semiannual tax bill on July 1 and owe a total $201,101 with interest on the two East 67th Street properties, city records show.

Whereas the old Phil would've just "borrowed" the money from investors again, the new Phil knew that would be a big no-no. If this isn't a sign of growth, we don't know what is.

Tax-deadbeat billionaire [NYP]


Lisa Maria Falcone Had A Less Than Great Labor Day Weekend

It's no secret that one of our favorite hedge fund wives is Lisa Maria Falcone. Whether she's imploring bitches to throw their hands in air, hiring little people for her twin daughters' birthday party, spooning her pet pig, or simply flitting about town in outfits that go from gladiator chic to deconstructed "Like A Virgin," the woman is her own special brand of fabulous. LMF started keeping a considerably lower profile once her husband Phil's hedge fund hit a streak of bad luck though we always knew she'd be back. Unfortunately, we'd hoped the woman who does what she wants, haters of the Upper East Side be damned, would return with the news her production company was putting the finishing touches on Wilbur Falcone's debut album and not this: 2:25 p.m., 48-year-old Lisa Marie Falcone of Manhattan crashed her vehicle at the corner of Montauk Highway and Hayground Road in Bridgehampton, police said. She was found to be to be under the influence of alcohol and prescription medication, police said. Falcone...was charged with driving while intoxicated. Listen, lady: Throwing back a few cocktails when your closet is having two-for-one happy hour is one thing but getting loaded up on booze and pills and going for a drive is quite another. You could have hurt someone or yourself and then Phil would've had to raise Wilbur on his own. Is that what you want? 2 Charged With DWI Crashes in Hamptons [Long Island Press, mugshot via BI]

Phil Falcone Is Turning His Life Around

To put it lightly, the last couple years have been a rather dark time for Phil Falcone. Though his woes are too numerous to mention in full, they include: the adversity he's faced in getting people to believe in LightSquared; his unbelievably pissy investors, who still aren't over the time he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund to pay personal taxes, or offered to pay out redemptions in illiquid LightSquared equity; the Securities and Exchange Commission, which wants him banned from the industry for life; the woman who once offered a respite from it all, who now won't even come out of her room when she knows he's home; and, of course, the plunging returns in his once highly profitable hedge fund. It would be enough to make a grown man say 'Fuck, it. I'm done.' Put a few things in a sack, tie it to the blade of a hockey stick, and hitchhike back to Minnesota. But Phil didn't do that and now? After a merciless storm of shit that felt like it would never ease up? After long days of investors and regulators breathing down his neck and nights of having to pound on the front door because he was accidentally purposely locked out of the house? The tide feels like it's turning for Philip Falcone. Beleaguered hedge fund honcho Phil Falcone’s big bet on his own publicly traded entity, Harbinger Group, is helping to lift his troubled hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Management, out of the deep end. Falcone’s flagship fund posted returns of 10.6 percent in July and a whopping 28 percent gain in June. Of course, he's still down 5.8 percent year-to-date, and the the director of the SEC's division of enforcement wants hedge fund graduate schools to use Harbinger as a case study during the unit on "how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully," but tonight? Tonight he tells Lisa to treat herself to something nice. Tonight he tells Wilbur to pull the baby grand out of the closet, where it's sat untouched for months. Tonight his key works in the lock. Tonight we dance. Phil Helps Himself [NYP]