Property Grunt

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A tale of two douchebags

There was one particular individual from my media days that I truly believe was a sociopath since he pretty much said what he wanted regardless of how people reacted. He justified his behavior stating that this is the way he was and you had just better accept it.

Part of his mental schema was also being a huge hypocrite. He claimed to harbor great devotion and love for his live in girlfriend at the time but at the workplace he was a poon hound in need of a serious of spaying. Not only would he talk about sex but also he would openly speak about his work place conquests in vivid detail.

Looking back I realize this douchebag had a raging inferiority complex and that he covered it up with his out of control ego. He would often fill the dead air of the office by talking a very big game. That what he was doing now was a true waste of his talents and that we should all be glad that we were even in the same room with him since his true potential was about to be unleashed.

From what I know whatever potential he had or claimed to have is dead because none of his goals ever came to fruition.

I bring up this particular a$$hole up because he reminds me of the two douchebags that are currently in the news.

The first is Bernie Madoff who has become the poster boy of the biggest and longest Ponzi scheme ever to hit the financial world and alot of people are hurting because of him.

While Mr. Madoff is facing federal criminal charges, accused by federal prosecutors of operating a vast $50 billion Ponzi scheme, many of his clients are facing an abrupt reversal of fortune that is the stuff of nightmares.
“There are people who were very, very well off a few days ago who are now virtually destitute,” said Brad Friedman, a lawyer with the Milberg firm in Manhattan. “They have nothing left but their apartments or homes — which they are going to have to sell to get money to live on.”

From New York to Palm Beach, business associates of Mr. Madoff spent Friday assessing the damage, the extent of which will not be known for some time. Many invested with Mr. Madoff through other funds and may not know that their money is at risk.
Emergency meetings were being held at country clubs, schools and charities to assess the potential losses on their investments and to look for options.
There is not much guidance available yet from regulators. On Friday, a federal judge appointed a receiver to oversee the Madoff firm’s assets and customer accounts. A Web site is being set up to keep customers informed, but no one is sure yet whether any sort of safety net will catch the most vulnerable investors.

For Stephen J. Helfman, a lawyer in Miami whose father had opened an account with Mr. Madoff more than 30 years ago, the news on Thursday came as a hammer blow.
“The name ‘Madoff’ has overnight gone from being revered to reviled in the Helfman family,” Mr. Helfman said on Friday. His grandmother, at 98, relied on her Madoff money to pay for round-the-clock care, he said, and his two children’s college funds were wiped out.
“Thirty-six years of loyalty, through two generations, and this is what we get,” he said.

The news was equally devastating for the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation in Salem, Mass., which works to reverse the dilution of Jewish identity through intermarriage and assimilation by sending teenagers to Israel and supporting other Jewish education efforts.

The foundation was forced on Friday to dismiss its small staff and shut down its programs to cope with its losses in the Madoff funds, according to Deborah Coltin, its executive director.

“We’ve canceled everything as of today, everything,” she said tearfully.
Ms. Coltin said she did not know how the little foundation came to be so exposed to the Madoff firm. Its most recent tax filings show that it had $7 million at the end of 2006, with $143,344 in stocks and the rest in “government securities.”
It reported the sale that year of “Bernie Madoff” securities, but did not explain what those securities were.

Sam Englebardt, a media investor in Los Angeles, said several relatives had entrusted virtually all of their assets to Mr. Madoff — and he understood why.
“It seems like a huge over-allocation, I know,” Mr. Englebardt said. “But remember, they had started out small and invested over 5 years, 15 years, 30 years — and every year they got a great return, and they could always take money out without ever having a problem.”

As that track record lengthened, his relatives gradually entrusted more of their savings to Mr. Madoff, he said. “I suspect that is what has happened across the board,” he added. “People came to trust him so much that, eventually, they trusted him with everything.”

Such stories were repeated in e-mail messages and telephone calls throughout the day on Friday. A woman in Brooklyn whose father died just weeks ago found that his entire estate and a substantial portion of her stepmother’s money was invested with Mr. Madoff. A law school official in Massachusetts fears he has lost millions in the collapse of the Madoff operation.

But hey, Madoff is a good guy, he fully intedned to give out about $300 million to his employees, even though that money wasn't his. But hey his heart was in the right place. Of course he has destroyed countless lives with his massive ponzi scheme, but he is a good guy. Despite the fact the entire world is reeling from his unadulterated fraud.

By this account, Mr. Madoff told the executives he intended to surrender to the authorities in about a week but first wanted to distribute approximately $200 million to $300 million to “certain selected employees, family and friends.”

Now we have douchebag #2, the not so marvelous Marc S. Dreier.

Marc S. Dreier knew the 45th-floor conference room of Solow Realty well. He had been in it many times as a trusted lawyer for the company’s founder.

So nothing seemed amiss when he showed up one afternoon in October and told a receptionist he had a meeting with her boss, people associated with Solow say.
Mr. Dreier was elegantly dressed, as always, the people said. He had three people with him. The receptionist ushered the group past her desk. They were sitting there, visible inside the glass-walled room, a few minutes later when the boss, Steven M. Cherniak, happened to walk by.

Mr. Cherniak would later tell people at the company how surprised he had been to see Mr. Dreier. He had not scheduled any meeting with him, and he had no idea what Mr. Dreier was up to.

But people there gave little thought to Mr. Dreier’s odd visit until November, when the company’s founder, Sheldon H. Solow, received a disturbing call. The caller wanted to let Mr. Solow know that Mr. Dreier had offered him the chance to buy promissory notes that had been issued by the company, people associated with the firm said.

They were fake notes, and shortly thereafter, lawyers for Solow Realty — different lawyers — were in touch with federal authorities, reporting their suspicions that Mr. Dreier might be engaged in financial fraud.

Since that opening tip, federal authorities have been tracking what they describe as a brazen swindle of some of New York’s savviest investors by one of New York’s more accomplished lawyers. Mr. Dreier has been charged with multiple frauds in the United States and a related crime in Canada, and is being held without bail in Manhattan.’

Now this is ballsy, even for a lawyer of his stature. When you pull a fraud of this magnitude, people eventually start to ask questions when it turns out they have been had. If the fraud had gotten as far as Dreier selling those notes, I am curious what his next move would have been since every bounty hunter in the land would be after him

As the Dreier firm’s lawyers rummage through the law firm’s books, which had been until recently Mr. Dreier’s exclusive preserve, they are finding that bills have not been paid in months. Their health insurance is in default and the firm will not be able to make its $2.6 million payroll on Monday, lawyers there say.

“No one is in charge,” Vincent F. Pitta, a lawyer at the firm, complained last week in an affidavit in support of a government request to freeze assets. “The news of Mr. Dreier’s arrest has had a neutron-bomb-like effect on Dreier L.L.P.”

These people are pretty much f**ked. Not only are they not going to get paid and with the current economic conditions it will be very difficult for them to find another job. To make matters worse Dreier’s entire firm is on the hook for any losses he has incurred because they have no insurance coverage.

In my next entry, I will attempt to present ways you can protect yourselves from these types of individuals.