We live in an age of white-collar villains. But of all the financial bad guys out there, Marc Dreier is arguably the single greatest character of them all. Bernie Madoff may have stolen more money. Dick Fuld may have caused more systemic damage. But it’s Dreier alone whose story reads like the stuff of Hollywood. Dreier isn’t just accused of swindling more than $400 million from thirteen hedge funds. Prosecutors say he carried out the deception by inventing $700 million in financial assets out of whole cloth, staging fictional conference calls, and impersonating executives, sometimes personally, sometimes with the help of an associate, all while snapping up Warhols and waterfront homes, partying with pop stars and football players, and chasing an endless parade of much-younger women. He also allegedly stole some $40 million from his clients’ escrow accounts, a brazen legal sin. Unlike Madoff, who worked from behind the scenes in the Lipstick Building, Dreier took a starring role in his own financial drama. Where Madoff was outwardly quiet and self-effacing, Dreier was openly egotistical, even smug. He seemed to think he could lie to his victims’ faces and get away with it, to thrill, even, in the art of deceiving people. It’s been suggested that Bernie Madoff was a pathological liar. With Marc Dreier, there appears to be little doubt.
This paragraph comes from a great article in New York Magazine by Robert Kolker: The Impersonator. Like Bernie Madoff, Marc Dreier bilked unsuspecting investors out of many millions of dollars. But Dreier did it with flair.
The photo of Dreier with Michael Strahan is from the free content collection of Newscom.