In the last few months, Phil Falcone has sold a house for almost $80 million and a bunch of paintings and other stuff, in spite of the fact that they were collateral for some loans, which he was also not paying. And still he lacks the scratch to pay those who won him that surprisingly lenient settlement over those taxes unpaid and paid with investor money, apparently by the canny strategy of legal malpractice. And now, it seems, he won’t be paying for anything until he pays those lawyers.

A New York judge has frozen assets belonging to hedge fund manager Philip Falcone and his Harbinger Offshore fund after he failed to pay millions in legal fees to a Manhattan law firm that defended him in high-stakes litigation against US regulators…. In his ruling, Judge Engoron upheld a decision handed down by an arbitrator earlier this year in which Mr Falcone and Harbinger were ordered to pay $13.6m in legal fees to Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig for work going back almost eight years.

Again, this man was once a billionaire, and yet is now subject to an asset freeze over $13.6 million.

In a document made public as evidence in court, arbitrator Caroline Antonacci said DNF had negotiated a settlement with the SEC which was “highly lucrative” for Mr Falcone as it allowed him “to continue to oversee his substantial LightSquared investment, remain CEO of a public company, manage his hedge fund, and immediately resume earning enormous sums”…. As lawyers’ bills piled up, Mr Falcone told DNF that he was having “liquidity” issues and that he was “trying everything under the sun” to resolve them, according to the arbitration documents.

In a stark reversal of fortune, Mr Falcone has been left nursing heavy debts and in 2019 sold his New York townhouse for a record $77m.

We don’t even want to ask what’s happened to Wilbur.

NY judge freezes hedge fund manager Philip Falcone’s assets [FT]

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Phil Falcone is really just disappointed in himself and not at all making a desperate gambit to keep his job.

The Only Thing That Keeps Phil Falcone Up At Night Is Counting All The Money He's Going To Make Off Of LightSquared

From outward appearances, the past couple years have been a stressful time for Phil Falcone. After making billions of dollars for himself and for his investors on subprime, the Harbinger Capital Partners founder provoked the ire of many a client by tying up a good chunk of their money in a wireless start-up called LightSquared (a company the Federal Communications Commission is no fan of, due to the fact that it reportedly interferes with GPS devices used on land, sea, and in outer space), by borrowing $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes, and by only allowing certain investors (Goldman Sachs) to get out while freezing redemptions for others and then telling them they could leave if they found some else to pick up their stake. Assets under management at Harbinger have dropped $23 billion, from a peak of $26 billion. For a variety of reasons, the Securities and Exchange commission wants to see him banned from the industry. A worried Bloomberg News reporter recently revealed he has a problem with pit stains ("[his] shirt appeared darker under the arms in his office last month"), which wouldn't pose an issue were his shirt supply not dwindling rapidly ("One place Falcone is visiting less frequently is Domenico Vacca, the New York boutique where suits retail for $3,900 and shirts $490, according to a person with knowledge of his purchases. He orders every four or five months [now] compared with every two or three months between 2006 and 2009"). For all these reasons and more (like, say, a sensitive and highly-strung pig who is not happy), some people might assume that Falcone would at best be in deep contemplative mode regarding how things got this far at worst be freaking the fuck out, particularly over the possibilities that 1) the SEC is going to file civil fraud charges and 2) if LightSquared doesn't pan out, he's going to lose a whole lot of money. Those people, however, would be wrong. Not only is he not at all worried that his passion project won't work out ( “I am not losing sleep on this -- why would I lose sleep?” he asked Bloomberg), but he dares anyone to come up with a reason for why he's not going to make $20+ billion on this thing. “This is not for the faint of heart,” Falcone said. “I’ve never looked at it as having $4 billion or $25 billion as defining Philip Falcone. But who’s to say I won’t get back to $25 billion?” What? It could happened. You don't know. Falcone Waits for Icahn Doubling Down on Network [Bloomberg]

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]

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