Friday, December 19, 2008

Minor Fraud Friday

In addition to labeling today as possibly the most boring options expiration Friday on record, I have also dubbed today "Minor Fraud Friday."  Due to the incredible and yet deserved amount of press surrounding the spectacle that is the Madoff ponzi scheme, some of the more minor recently unveiled frauds have taken a backseat in the press.  Far be it for me to discriminate against these minor frauds.  What they lack in sheer size, they more than make up for in absurdity.
Federal prosecutors and the SEC have alleged that a 35 year-old broker "stole" confidential information from his wife, a partner at a public relations firm that deals with high-profile takeover deals.  The broker then passed on the information to various colleagues, including one former Playboy Playmate, who used the inside information to generate roughly $4.8 million in ill-gotten gains.  The broker received some cash, a Cartier watch and porsche driving lessons in return for the valuable information.  Call me greedy, but I'd be asking for an actual porsche for risking my hide with maybe the driving lessons thrown in for an extra tip.  Furthermore, what is it with these pea-shooters who risk their jobs, and jail to make a measly $4.8 million?  If you're going to go for it, make it $50 million and then move to some island in the Caribbean.    
Perhaps the best little nugget in this story involves the statement by the wife's lawyer that claims she had absolutely no idea that her husband was passing on confidential information to his friends, and the aforementioned former Playboy Playmate.  The husband gained the confidential information by "being in his wife's proximity when she worked from home and knowing her schedule."  The article doesn't mention whether the wife blurted out things like:  "Guess what? InBev is going to pay $70 a share for Budweiser," while she was in the proximity of her husband but if her lawyer claims she was not complicit in the scheme, then I'm going to have to take him at his word. 
The story would be a tad juicier if the former Playboy Playmate was the broker's illicit girlfriend and the spurned wife was merely enacting revenge for his infidelity.  But alas, the Playboy Playmate was just the girlfriend of one of the traders that profited from the scheme.  Despite playing such a minor role in the scheme, the Playmate features prominently in the photo accompanying the story.  Clearly, she was the most attractive of the bunch of insider traders.  Even the Wall Street Journal has to sell papers in this tough economic environment.    


Anonymous said...

When the tide goes out, you see who is swimming naked... or in this case, with the Playmates. It is funny to think that the Playmate at least made money for her investors, where as the head of the NASDAQ did not. Please post photos next time...

Anonymous said...

damn, I wish I was born a beautiful nude model, life would be so easy. but i was born a butt ugly man, and have to swim up ever so-crazy bear rallies to pull in miniscule amounts of cash. when will it end?