Mar 292013

US authorities have arrested Michael Steinberg, a portfolio manager at SAC Capital and the most senior executive to date to be questioned in the investigation into the hedge fund giant.

Steinberg, 40, was led out of his Park Avenue apartment early Friday morning in handcuffs after returning from a family vacation in Florida. He has been charged with conspiracy and securities fraud.

Steinberg pleaded not guilty in federal district court in Manhattan on Friday and was freed on $3m bail.

The arrest comes amid a widening investigation into SAC, the Connecticut-based hedge fund founded by multi-billionaire investor Steven Cohen. At least nine current or former SAC employees have now been tied to allegations of insider trading. Four have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

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 Posted by at 11:52 pm
Mar 262013

The daughter of a powerful New York real estate mogul has been arrested along with her boyfriend after the pair were found with 30 baggies of heroin during a police sting, authorities say.

Katheryn Kalikow, 27, and Brian Whalen, 28, had allegedly advertised the drugs on Craiglist as a ‘high quality diesel pain relief.’ They were taken into custody in the Bronx, New York, Sunday night after they agreed to sell the drugs to undercover detectives for $440, according to court documents.

Kalikow’s father is Peter S Kalikow, a real estate baron with a fortune of up to $1billion. He is the former head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, once ran the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and is a former owner of the New York Post.

Arrested: Brian Whalen, 28, and Katheryn Kalikow, 27, are accused of selling heroin through Craigslist ads


Wealthy: Katheryn Kalikow is the daughter of Peter S Kalikow, a real estate mogul worth up to $1billion who is the former chairman of the MTA and head of the Port Authority of New York and Jersey

Katherine Kalikow and Whalen are both graduates of the elite private college Vasser.

Court documents show undercover Bronx police detectives responded to a Craiglist post advertising ‘stamps, diesel, H train, dope, bundles, tickets, dog food’ – all of which are slang for heroin. 

Officers set up a meeting with the dealers in the Bronx near the campus of Fordham University.

Court documents say Whalen and Kalikow arrived at the agreed-upon address in a blue Volkswagen.

When approached by the undercover officers, Kalikow said, ‘I have the drugs. He’s my boyfriend and I was holding on to it for him,’ according to the criminal complaint.


Partners: Kalkow told police that she was holding the drugs for her boyfriend, Whalen. Both alleged dealers went to elite Vasser College in upstate New York

Police arrested the pair and discovered three bags filled with ten small plastic baggies each containing brown powder. 

Detectives confirmed that the power was heroin.

Both Kalikow and Whalen have been charged with possession of drugs with intent to deliver and possession.

On Whalen’s public Facebook he has what appears to be a photo of six different varieties of marijuana.

Whalen’s lawyer, Marvin Raskin, said his client has pleaded not guilty to the charges and been released from jail. He had no comment about the Facebook picture.

Whalen lives in Burlington, Vermont, but his attorney said he has ‘strong family roots’ in New York and the surrounding area.

Katheryn Kalikow’s lawyer did not return a phone call seeking comment.

She listed her address as 1001 Fifth Avenue, her parent’s multimillion-dollar penthouse apartment that is across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kalikow’s father, Peter, operates a successful real estate business based in his 49-floor skyscraper, 101 Park Avenue.

Peter Kalikow has been a prominent New Yorker since he built 629-foot-tall building in 1982. He inherited the real estate company from his father and is the third-generation owner.

He bought the New York Post in 1988 for $37.6million after Rupert Murdoch was forced to sell it because of media ownership laws.

He lost the paper to bankruptcy in 1993.

He is a known aficionado of Ferrari sports cars and owns some 45 models – including several custom cars.

 Posted by at 12:51 pm
Mar 252013

A bankrupt stockbroker who defrauded millions of pounds from some of Britain’s shrewdest business people was today ordered to pay a nominal £1 fee.

Nicholas Levene, 48, was jailed for 13 years last November after he admitted orchestrating a lucrative Ponzi scheme which raked £316 million into his bank accounts between April 2005 and September 2009.

At Southwark Crown Court today, he was ordered to pay a nominal fee of £1 while an investigation into his assets continues after he filed for bankruptcy in October 2009.

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 Posted by at 2:15 pm
Mar 182013

The SEC said Friday it has reached a settlement on insider trading charges with CR Intrinsic, an affiliate of billionaire Steve Cohen‘s hedge fund firm.

At just over $600 million it marks the agency’s largest ever insider trading settlement. Trader Mathew Martoma, who still faces criminal charges, has been accused of getting tipped off on clinical trial results for an Alzheimer’s drug from Elan Pharmaceuticals and reaping a massive windfall for himself and SAC.

 Posted by at 1:11 pm
Oct 202012

A former caseworker for an organisation that aids survivors of Nazi persecution was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Friday for her participation in a $57 million (35 million pounds) fraud scheme.

Polina Breyter, an employee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa in Manhattan to make restitution of nearly half a million dollars.

Breyter, 69, of Brooklyn, New York, processed false applications and recruited ineligible applicants for reparation programs in exchange for payments, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. She pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Breyter “played a central role” in the scheme against the organisation that lasted more than a decade, Bharara said.

The Claims Conference administers programs sponsored by the German government to victims of Nazi atrocities.

Thirty-one people have been charged in the scheme, including 18 who have pleaded guilty, the statement said.

At least $12 million went through 3,839 apparently fraudulent applications submitted for people who were not eligible for a “Hardship Fund,” including many born after World War II, according to U.S. Attorney Bharara. The fund makes a one-time payment of $3,500 to those who evacuated their homes and were forced to become refugees.

Conference employees are supposed to confirm that applicants qualify for payments. The fraud included doctored documents.

Another 1,112 cases processed for a program known as the “Article 2 Fund” were fraudulent, resulting in a loss of another $45 million, Bharara said.

The Article 2 Fund pays $400 a month to survivors who earn under $16,000 a year and either lived in hiding or under a false identity for 18 months, lived in a Jewish ghetto for 18 months, or were held for six months in a concentration camp or forced labour camp

 Posted by at 3:58 pm
Sep 272012

Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel

is one of 12 writers being sued by the publisher Penguin in a New York court for failing to deliver books they were signed up to write.

The Smoking Gun, the investigative American website that unveiled James Frey as a liar in 2006, has found that Penguin filed lawsuits against five authors who have not delivered books for which they were paid significant advances. As well as Wurtzel, the blogger Ana Marie Cox (Cox was married to Chris Lehmann)
is being asked to return her $81,250 advance (and at least $50,000 in interest) for not writing a “humorous examination of the next generation of political activists”, signed in 2006, and Herman Rosenblat,
a Holocaust survivor whose story of how he met his wife turned out to be a fabrication, is being chased for a $30,000 advance (and at least $10,000 in interest).

The Wurtzel lawsuit makes clear that the bestselling author signed a $100,000 deal in 2003 to write “a book for teenagers to help them cope with depression”, of approximately 250 pages, by 2004. She received a $33,300 advance, with the rest of the money to follow on delivery and publication. But “despite repeated and frequent demand by Plaintiff … Defendant has refused or failed to repay the advance and remains indebted to Plaintiff in the amount of $33,000”, writes Penguin in its lawsuit. The publisher has now taken to the courts to recoup the $33,000 from Wurtzel, “as well as interest of not less than $7,500”. “[Wurtzel is] in possession of the sum of $33,000 that is the rightful property of Plaintiff,” writes Penguin. “As a result, [she has] been unjustly enriched by [her] activities and Plaintiffs have suffered a detriment.”

Other authors being sued by Penguin include New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead, from whom Penguin wants $20,000 and at least $2,000 in interest for failing to deliver “a collection of the author’s journalism”, and “hip-hop minister” Conrad Tillard, who signed a deal to write about his “epic journey from the Ivy League to the Nation of Islam”. Penguin is suing Tillard for around $38,000.

 Posted by at 6:36 pm
Aug 292012

 “I’m the one that brought you here. I’m the one that ultimately made decisions, and I’m the one that ultimately takes responsibility. So I am sorry, and it didn’t end up exactly as we’d hoped.”

Two Fridays ago, Steve Perlman told the 200 employees of cloud gaming company OnLive that it was all his fault. He thanked them for their hard work, and then he had HR show them the door with no severance pay.

Then, through a legal insolvency tool, Perlman transferred all of OnLive’s assets to a brand new company and took over as CEO, hiring back only a skeleton crew to keep the ship afloat.

Employees were mad as hell, but not just because they’d lost their jobs and benefits without warning. Former staffers told The Verge that though Steve Perlman was the technical genius behind OnLive, his ego was the company’s undoing.

 Posted by at 2:40 am
Aug 112012

Friends of a teenager accused of stealing a $200,000 sports car in a spectacular escapade last year tried but failed on Friday to bust him out of a juvenile detention facility on his birthday, investigators said on Friday.

Max Wade

turned 18 on Friday while being held in a juvenile hall in San Rafael on charges he stole a celebrity chef’s Lamborghini in a Hollywood-like acrobatic heist. He also faces a possible life sentence for allegedly shooting into a truck carrying a girl who had spurned his romantic overtures.

Following the botched attempt to free him, Wade was transferred to a county jail, as scheduled, because he had reached the legal age for adult incarceration.

The breakout effort was detected around 4:35 a.m. local time on Friday, when a juvenile hall counselor saw a sledgehammer striking the window of Wade’s cell, said Michael Daly, who runs the facility.

The counselor immediately removed the birthday boy, whose bail is set at $2 million. But whoever was trying to set him free had vanished before law enforcement arrived on the scene.

A search turned up a backpack containing a change of clothes, a sledgehammer and a bolt cutter, which authorities believe was used to slice through two perimeter fences.

Police said they linked Wade after the fact to a high-profile car theft in March 2011 in which a man rappelled from the roof of a San Francisco auto dealership into the showroom and roared off in a canary-yellow Lamborghini Spyder Gallardo.

Video cameras captured the convertible, owned by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, days later crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

The theft went unsolved for more than a year, until detectives investigating an unrelated drive-by shooting north of San Francisco unexpectedly discovered the stolen car parked in a storage locker along with the motorcycle used in the shooting.

Police said they staked out the storage locker and arrested Wade when he turned up to claim his belongings.

No one was injured in the April shooting, for which he is charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Authorities had no suspects in Friday’s breakout attempt. But in June, two young men posted an online video of themselves dancing in front of a yellow Lamborghini and rapping the lyrics to a song called “Free Max Wade.”

 Posted by at 3:47 am

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