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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Are Marc Dreier Colleagues In Trouble?


A huge lawyer-run Ponzi scheme has been unfolding recently in South Florida, where uber-lawyer Scott Rothstein has been accused (and charged) with running a $1.2 billion criminal enterprise using his law firm.   As today's Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) reports, some of his colleagues may have criminal culpability.

The Rothstein case echoes the case of New York Park Avenue lawyer Marc S. Dreier.   Dreier was the lawyer who travelled to Toronto to impersonate a pension fund manager and got caught in December 2008.   This would -- should -- have been huge news, and has received fair attention, but was rapidly overshadowed by the Bernie Madoff scandal which unfolded only days later.  (Since then, more detritus has appeared and the current pecking order seems to be: Madoff, Allen Stanford, Scott Rothstein and Tom Petters.) 

Dreier quickly pled guilty to running a multi-hundred million dollar Ponzi scheme out of, and to fund, his eponymous firm Dreier LLP during the years 2002-08.  In July 2009, Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff sentenced the 59-year-old Dreier to "essentially life" with a 20-year prison sentence.  At least two colleagues of Dreier (of whom one was a lawyer) have pled guilty, and the Rothstein case could indicate that Dreier's colleagues and employees could share criminal exposure as well.  

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer and strategic consultant for businesses, political campaigns and individuals. Mr. Dixon is available for comment or consultation at edixon@NYBusinessCounsel.com and 917-696-2442. 


1 comment:

  1. Hi...Do you write to yourself?? Am I the only one that stumbled upon this site and actually read something...oh, and commented too? Why do you have the NY Times listed under "Important Links"? Are they really important?

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