Martin Shkreli – Gouging Prices for Necessary Medicines Does not Make for East Jury Selection

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/40/27/all-martin-shkreli-trial-starts-2017-06-30-bk.html

Least-favorite son: Sheepshead Bay native Martin Shkreli back in Brooklyn for fraud trial

This hometown boy did not get a warm welcome home.

Dozens of New Yorkers just can’t stand the Sheepshead Bay-born-and-bred Martin Shkreli — also known as “pharma bro” and “the most hated man in America” — who jacked up the prices of life-saving drugs.

Shkreli is back in his native Brooklyn for trial on fraud charges. The federal court case kicked off this week, but lawyers and the judge had a hard time finding jurors who can keep an open mind about the alleged Ponzi-schemer, who famously smirked as he repeatedly took the Fifth when testifying before Congress about pharmaceutical price-gouging.

One potential juror who got the boot suggested he wanted to sock Shkreli in his notoriously punchable face.

“I don’t really like this person. I can’t understand why someone would take a medication that people need and jack up the price,” said the man in a shaky voice as he raised his fists as if ready for the ring. “I would just go over there — I’m sorry judge, is he just stupid or crazy? I can’t understand.”

Shkreli — who declined to comment on whether growing up in a once-quaint fishing village made him the man he is today — faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly running a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme while the head of his drug company Retrophin.

The former hedge-fund manager has gained infamy for gouging the price of a drug for AIDS patients from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight in 2015, trolling a journalist and the popular hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan on social media, and making plenty of other crude and callous comments on a variety of media venues — none of which he’s on trial for now — though several would-be jurors couldn’t help but admit they just want to see Shkreli behind bars, no matter what.

“In this particular case, the only thing I’d be impartial about is which prison he goes to,” said one man before walking out the door.

Another potential juror said he couldn’t forgive the 34-year-old Shkreli for attacking members of the Staten Island-based Wu Tang Clan on Twitter, after he purchased the only copy of one of their exclusive albums for $2 million and then released it in celebration right after President Trump’s electoral-college victory in November.

“I can’t say if he’s, like, totally guilty — he’s probably guilty. In no way can I let him slide out of anything. This is my attitude towards his whole demeanor, and he disrespected the Wu Tang Clan, so …” the man said, before getting cut off by the judge and shown the door.

Shkreli’s attorneys, federal prosecutors, and the judge had questioned more than 300 jurors since June 26, with nearly all of them getting excused — many because they admitted feeling similarly to the potential juror who said, “Just looking at him kind of twists my stomach, to be honest.”

But all jurors had been seated by late afternoon on June 28, and opening arguments began shortly after that, according to the New York Post.

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto expects the trial to last about six weeks, but jurors are skeptical.

“Looking at all of these lawyers, I think it’s going to be more than a six-week trial,” one guy said before getting excused for being self-employed.

To read the article in its original format click here.

A Platinum Loan or a Nordlict Investment – the Yeshiva Business and WTA

A PLATINUM EDUCATION FOR JEWISH CHILDREN, A MODEL TO BE EMULATED, OR – PERHAPS NOT…

This article should be viewed as a follow up to an article we published earlier in April regarding Westchester Torah Academy and alleged “Loans” from Mark Nordlicht to the Westchester Torah Academy.

We contend that the “Loans” were donations. Whether they began as a means of hiding money, a lot of it, and shielding Nordlicht from potential financial liability or evolved and have been converted is a question for debate. We have our theories.

We further posit that subject only to the previous paragraph, the “donations” are now being called back as “Loans” to give Nordlicht visible and “clean” (i.e. laundered) working capital to manage his current legal woes. Each and every dollar Nordlicht is referring to as “Loans” represents an injustice to the Westchester Torah Academy and all of its students and their families..

We finally maintain that if investigators want justice for those many, many people aggrieved by Platinums’ litany of carefully planned and executed swindles, they need to open Nordlicht’s personal financial statements and trusts, scrutinize the money, its providence and underlying transaction. Nordlicht’s (and Bodner’s) personal family trusts, which we believe are comprised of Platinums’ assets should unshieded  from creditors of Platinum and all of its many victims.

See 2012:

Lower-Tuition School Model Spawning Imitators

Impact of just-opened yeshiva being felt, but financial projections remain untested.

November 20, 2012, 12:00 am

 

Rabbi Netanel Gralla, head of Yeshivat He’Atid, has two things he wants everyone to know about his school.

First, teachers have not been replaced by computers. And second, while the tuition — $8,990 for kindergarten and first grade — is substantially lower than that of other area day schools, the students are hardly enduring a no-frills education.

“We have art, music and gym,” the 40-year-old father of seven points out to a visitor during a recent tour of the Bergenfield, N.J. elementary school. “We’re not cutting corners.”

With its dual approach of making Jewish education affordable and using “blended learning,” a mix of computerized and face-to-face instruction, He’Atid — the name means “Yeshiva of the Future” — has been open just two and a half months.

But already, the 116-student Orthodox school’s impact is being felt in the Jewish day school world; other Bergen County schools are lowering tuition in the younger grades and looking to incorporate more technology. Meanwhile, two new Orthodox schools following He’Atid’s model are on track to open next year: Westchester Torah Academy in New Rochelle and Tiferet Academy in Long Island’s Five Towns.

The two planned schools, along with He’Atid, have the financial backing of the New York-based Affordable Jewish Education (AJE), an ambitious nonprofit so new it is still awaiting 501(c)3 approval.

Established by 44-year-old hedge fund manager Mark Nordlicht (who, through an intermediary, declined to be interviewed) together with six anonymous donors, AJE’s goal is nothing less than solving the day school tuition crisis by creating a new breed of tech-savvy, lower-cost schools.

“This is an urgent problem, and we have a sense of urgency,” says Jeff Kiderman, AJE’s executive director. “We can’t take a wait-and-see approach; this is the time to act.”

The money from AJE is intended solely as a startup investment to get the schools “on their feet”; the goal is that eventually the schools will be financially self-sustaining.

“The point is not to redistribute who’s paying, but to change how much it actually costs,” says Kiderman.

The He’Atid approach, inspired in part by innovative charter schools like California’s RocketShip and Arizona’s Carpe Diem, is not without its critics. While it’s hard to object to lower tuition, some parents — and leaders of established day schools — are skeptical about blended learning, which has yet to be proven successful on a large scale or over the long term. Others wonder whether AJE and He’Atid’s budget projections are realistic — the school, currently spending over $11,000 per student, is supposed to break even financially in its third year — or if the model risks faltering as it expands (the target size is about 1,000 students in pre-K through eighth grade).

Not helping the matter is that He’Atid and AJE have refused to make public the details of the “model” they are using to project expenses, although they have revealed that cost savings will come from “efficiencies” like larger class sizes, fewer administrators and group purchasing.

“The ‘model’ is just our prediction of what we think will happen — what’s more important is what actually happens,” says Kiderman. “We are constantly tweaking the model as we learn more, and we are prepared to share it with any school who wishes to learn from it.

Says Gershon Distenfeld, He’Atid’s president: “We’re happy to go over it one on one, but with no context everything gets misinterpreted.”

 

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A Platinum/Uber Collaboration and $8M In Losses to Investors

Dr.-Amarpreet-Singh-&imageversion=widescreen&maxw=770

How several small-time investors got hosed when Uber crashed the taxi market

Unhappy about their losses the green cab owners have sued their broker and his partners for allegedly cheating them out of $8 million

When Dr. Amarpreet Singh received a tip from a patient back in 2013, he was all ears. The city was expanding its taxi fleet, the patient explained. Would he be interested in investing in cabs? “I said I’d certainly like to talk to someone about that,” recalled Singh, chief of oculo-facial plastic surgery at Harlem Hospital Center.

Singh’s patient introduced him to a taxi broker, who said the city was issuing thousands of permits for a new line of cabs, called green taxis, that would pick up passengers in the outer boroughs and upper Manhattan. Some green-taxi owners were already reaping profits of as much as $550 every week, the broker said, and it wasn’t expensive to get in on the action, because the city was offering incentives for cabs retrofitted to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs.

Singh liked the idea of helping disabled New Yorkers get around town, so he paid the broker $75,000 for five green-cab permits, plus another $325,000 for vehicles. Then he waited for drivers to rent his taxis. And waited some more. After nearly two years he got in touch with his patient to see what was up with the investment. Singh learned his cabs were lying fallow in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. He dashed over and found a parking lot filled with 600 cars, none with license plates and some not even outfitted as taxis.

“It was just a sea of green,” said Singh. “I walked out telling myself, Oh my God, what have I done?”

The collapse of the taxi business has dramatically altered New York’s streetscape. Spurred by the advent of Uber and other apps, the number of drivers looking for passengers has grown by 40%, but the surge has meant less business for cabbies, who are making 30% fewer trips than only three years ago. Those who invested in yellow or green cabs are seeing their investments wiped out as drivers flock to rivals or pursue other work and cars sit idle. Since 2013 5,000 taxi drivers have thrown in the towel, and last month Queens-based Melrose Credit Union was seized by state regulators after delinquent cab loans soared tenfold in just 18 months. The stock price of the city’s preeminent taxi lender, Medallion Financial Corp., has fallen so far that one share now costs less than a subway ride.

Among those sucked into the vortex are scores of novice investors who saw the same potential in green cabs as what yellow-taxi medallions offered decades ago: cheap investments (the first medallions sold for $10 in 1937 before peaking at more than $1 million) with yearly returns that far outpaced the stock market. But these small-time players bought green cabs just before the taxi business began its free fall. Singh is in this group along with a dozen other investors, including a home health care company president, a purchasing manager at a software firm, a vice president of sales at a printing company and a commercial real estate broker in Baltimore.

Jake Zamansky, a prominent plaintiff lawyer on Wall Street, said people need to be wary about buying into taxis and other investments that don’t have the same disclosure requirements as publicly traded stocks and bonds. “It’s imperative investors do their own due diligence or stay away,” he said.

The taxi investors are not happy about their losses and have sued in Brooklyn state court, alleging their green-cab broker and his partners cheated them out of $8 million by selling taxi permits “in the manner of a Ponzi scheme.” They also allege the defendants funneled millions of dollars’ worth of taxi money into Platinum Partners, a large hedge fund that federal prosecutors likened to a Ponzi scheme after it collapsed last year.

Billed as a slam dunk

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Madoff and Twists – A Platinum Example

 

 Bernard Madoff, founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Secu

The Fallout From Madoff’s Fraud Includes an Ironic Twist for Investors

‎January‎ ‎03‎, ‎2017‎ ‎5‎:‎00‎ ‎AM ‎January‎ ‎03‎, ‎2017‎ ‎11‎:‎22‎ ‎AM
  • Courts say investing from offshore keeps the trustee away
  • Rulings make it easier for ‘people to benefit from cheating’

The Fallout From Madoff’s Fraud Includes an Ironic Twist for Investors – Bloomberg

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-03/another-madoff-legacy-ways-for-investors-to-keep-ponzi-profits

The legal fallout from Bernard Madoff’s epic fraud includes an ironic twist: a road map for investors wanting to hold on to profits that seem too good to be true.

In the eight years since Madoff’s arrest, a series of court decisions have favored investors who profited from the scam, damping the hopes of trustee Irving Picard to return more to Madoff’s victims who lost $17.5 billion in principal, legal experts say. At the core of the disputes is how far Picard can go to make the Ponzi scheme’s investors whole.

“The rulings all lower the risk associated with investing in something that might be a Ponzi scheme,” said Anthony Casey, a University of Chicago law school professor. “Some of these were inevitable conclusions of law. The courts weren’t necessarily being lenient to the big institutions. It just happens to help the wealthier investors.”

Picard and his team of New York-based lawyers have recovered about 65 cents on the dollar — more than anticipated after the collapse of the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. And while the trustee’s recovery efforts continue on multiple fronts, including suits against some of Madoff’s biggest investors, the rulings took billions of dollars off the table and make a 100 percent return seem impossible.

 

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Madoff and Platinum – Comparisons to be had – Pyramid Games

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Hi,
I noticed that you are posting quite a lot about the Madoff scandal at the moment. Please can I direct your attention to Sonja Kohn (pronounced Sonya)
This is detailed in full in the book called Pyramid games. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0957619146/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_oWInybEDJP0SJ
Sonja Kohn was totally vindicated by a London court despite the exposé book. 
There is already a lot of material online that you can find through Google to help find out more about her.
Wishing you every success.
Anonymous

SONJA KOHN

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The Madoff Chronicles: One of Many Lawsuits and the “investment strategy intended to safeguard assets”…

madoff

The Savvy Versus the Non-so-Savvy…

And the Littany of Jewish Defendants who were able to Maneuver a Complicated Investment Strategy.

 

The attached document is one of a litany of lawsuits associated with the Madoff Ponzi Scheme. The defendants are a veritable treasure trove of hedge funds, feeder funds, associated banks, individuals and so-on and so-on. All have one thing in common – savvy. They are all “big-boys” in Securities parlance.  

We are providing a copy of this lawsuit simply because it illustrates the ease with which Madoff was able to bilk billions of dollars from investors, some of whom are reaping the benefits of Madoff’s savvy, and their own. The Koch brothers are not alone in that category of multi-billionaire beneficiaries.

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Bernie Madoff and the Koch Brothers – Irving Picard’s Efforts at Recovery Thwarted – Money Held Abroad…

The Madoff Judge’s Ruling Setting a Reprehensible Legal Precedent: Invest if you are savvy because the courts will protect you. If you are not, you are S.O.L.

The Koch Brothers and other investors who hold millions, if not billions abroad are being permitted to keep money that in our view should be available for all of the people who were defrauded by Madoff. Irving Picard, the attorney acting as Trustee for the Bankrutpcy estate and a strong advocate for recovery for those most affected by Madoff’s scheme, argued that the money should be disgorged (returned to the bankruptcy estate). The judge, contrary to Picard’s argument disagreed. We believe that this judge set a very toxic precedent by ruling as he did. The message: “If you invested through “feeder funds” or other similar entities which hold money abroad, that money cannot be brought back.”

In other words, the most savvy investors can manipulate the law (if not the court system) to the detriment of the ordinary “non-savvy” investors. Are the less savvy investors not the people the US Securities Laws are designed to protect?

Kochs and Other Madoff Investors Are Winners in Fight Over Profits Held Abroad

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/business/dealbook/kochs-and-other-madoff-investors-are-winners-in-fight-over-profits-held-abroad.html?_r=0

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