'Dick Tracy', Short Selling, Hedge Fund Manipulation

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ByLoSellHi, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Hedge fund faces lawsuit over 'Dick Tracy' allegations

    By Christine Seib


    ONE of the world’s most powerful hedge funds faces a $5 billion (£2.6 billion) legal action alleging that it employed a secret agent known as Dick Tracy to blackmail, harass and follow employees of a company that it was short-selling in order to drive the share price down.

    The allegations involve corrupt analysts, fake identification, group sex and New York’s St Patrick’s Cathedral but lawyers for Fairfax Financial Holdings, the claimant, insist that the nefarious activities listed are “not uncommon” in the world of short selling.

    Michael Bowe of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, who filed the claim with the New Jersey State Court, said: “You can draw the conclusion that these types of claims will be seen more frequently.”

    SAC Capital Management, the $7 billion hedge fund run by Steven A. Cohen, and other prominent funds, including Exis Capital Management and Lone Pine Capital, have until the end of September to respond to Fairfax’s claim. SAC already faces a $4.6 billion claim brought by the same law firm on behalf of Biovail, a Canadian drug company, on similar grounds.

    Short selling — borrowing shares and selling them in the hope that the price will fall so the seller can buy the shares back at a lower price — is not illegal. Manipulating the stock market, however, is prohibited by anti-racketeering laws.

    Fairfax claims that a number of hedge funds colluded with analysts, chiefly John D. Gwynn of Morgan Keegan, an investment manager, to issue misleading statements, harass workers and shareholders and incite regulatory investigations of the company.

    Fairfax believes the concerted campaign between 2002 and 2005 to drive down its share price started because the funds were concerned that Fairfax’s stock was rising on the back of a company turnaround.

    Among the more lurid accusations, Fairfax’s founder and chief executive, Prem Watsa, alleges that an agent of the hedge funds, using the pseudonym P. Fate, sent a package to the pastor of the church of which Mr Watsa chairs the investment committee.

    “Be aware Father, be sceptical and ask Mr Watsa to make confession,” the accompanying letter said. The letter’s return address was given as St Patrick’s in New York.

    SAC denies the accusations. “This is another baseless lawsuit by a company attempting to shift blame for its fundamental business problems,” a spokesman said.

    Critics of Fairfax point out that the company had restated its results because of accounting errors, while its subsidiaries have missed Securities and Exchange Commission filing deadlines. The insurer is co-operating with an SEC investigation into finite reinsurance sales.

    Morgan Keegan called the allegations “outrageous” and vowed to fight them. Lone Pine and Exis would not comment. The case is not expected to come to court for two years.
  2. If you have millions to defend yourself in court...
    And can get the "finest lawyers" in the country to PROSTITUTE themselves on your behalf...
    You can get away with anything short of very serious criminal activity.
  3. You can also find bottom feeding law firms to file lawsuits on flimsy grounds and harrass your enemies with discovery for years.