LAWFUEL.COM – Legal Newswire
LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, announced the return today of
a Superseding Indictment against MARC DREIER, the former Managing
Partner of the New York law firm Dreier LLP. The Superseding
Indictment contains new allegations concerning the total value of
the fictitious promissory notes DREIER sold, and DREIER’s
laundering of money through his law firm. It also lists
additional assets that the Government seeks to forfeit.
Specifically, the Superseding Indictment alleges that
from 2004 through December 2008, DREIER sold approximately $700
million worth of fictitious promissory notes. In order to carry
out the fraud, DREIER directed victims to wire those funds into a
Dreier LLP attorney trust bank account, from which he later
disbursed the funds both to reap the benefits of the fraud and to
continue its operation. The Superseding Indictment also contains
new allegations about the manner in which DREIER sold the notes.
According to the previous Indictment and the Superseding
Indictment returned today in Manhattan federal court:
DREIER was the founder and managing partner of Dreier
LLP, a law firm that, along with its affiliates, employed more
than 250 attorneys with its principal office in New York City and
additional offices in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the country.
From approximately 2004 through December 2008, DREIER
conspired to engage in securities and wire fraud involving: (a)
the sale of fake notes purportedly issued by a New York real
estate developer; (b) the sale of fake notes purportedly issued
by a Canadian pension plan and guaranteed by another Canadian
company; (c) the sale of fake notes purportedly issued by the
same Canadian company and guaranteed by the same Canadian pension
plan; and (d) the embezzlement of Dreier LLP client funds. In
furtherance of the note-sale scheme DREIER, among other things,
supplied purchasers or prospective purchasers with false
documentation, including false financial statements, assignments
and guarantees. In addition, DREIER also impersonated, or
arranged for others to impersonate, representatives of the
purported issuers and sellers in telephone conversations, e-mail
exchanges and meetings, and to this end even gained unauthorized
entry into the premises of the New York developer and the
Canadian pension plan.
DREIER directed his victims to wire funds
into an attorney trust account at Dreier LLP, from which he
disbursed those funds both to himself and to promote the fraud.
DREIER also misappropriated funds from clients of Dreier LLP
including, for example, money in an escrow account and funds
obtained in the settlement of a client lawsuit. During the
course of the scheme, DREIER sold more than $700 million in
fictitious promissory notes, for which he paid back a portion of
the principal and interest. The total out-of-pocket losses
suffered by purchasers of the various fake notes and by law firm
clients whose funds were misappropriated exceed $400 million.
The Superseding Indictment filed today charges DREIER
with one count of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud;
one count of securities fraud; five counts of wire fraud; and one
count of money laundering. The Superseding Indictment also seeks
forfeiture of the proceeds of the fraud offenses and property
derived therefrom, including real estate, a yacht, and a number
of works of art specified in the Superseding Indictment. The
money laundering count added today carries a maximum sentence of
20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $500,000 or twice
the value of the property involved in the money laundering.
DREIER faces a total maximum term of imprisonment of 145 years on
all eight counts of the Superseding Indictment.
DREIER, 58, resides in New York, New York. He is
scheduled to appear again before the Honorable JED S. RAKOFF at
10:00 am on March 19, 2009.
Mr. DASSIN praised the work of the Criminal
Investigators of the United States Attorney’s Office and thanked
the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for its
assistance in the case.
Assistant United States Attorneys JONATHAN R. STREETER
and SHARON COHEN LEVIN are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment
are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent
unless and until proven guilty.