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See Part I here.

More evidence of Ezra Merkin’s innocence led astray.

One of the top advisers to the money manager J. Ezra Merkin, who invested $2 billion of his clients’ money with Bernard L. Madoff, is a convicted felon who worked for Mr. Merkin while still in federal prison, according to recently filed court documents.

The adviser, Victor Teicher, who had been convicted of federal securities fraud and was barred from the securities industry, advised Mr. Merkin on the management of his Ariel Fund Ltd. through phone calls made to Mr. Merkin’s Park Avenue office from a New Jersey prison.

Information about Mr. Teicher’s relationship with Mr. Merkin was contained in court papers filed by New York University, one of several institutions now suing Mr. Merkin. The university lost $24 million from its investment in the Ariel Fund, which turned over $300 million of its assets to Mr. Madoff, without disclosing the arrangement to Ariel investors.

… In a memorandum filed in New York Supreme Court this week, the university said that none of the Ariel fund prospectuses disclosed that “Victor Teicher, a convicted felon, and his staff were the persons actively managing the majority of the Ariel assets, and that hundreds of millions of dollars of Ariel’s funds had also been delivered for management to Madoff — even though Teicher had warned Merkin than Madoff’s returns were not possible.”

Mr. Teicher began advising Mr. Merkin’s Ariel fund in 1993 after Mr. Teicher had been convicted of several counts of securities fraud, including using insider information in trading puts and calls. Mr. Teicher, according to the filing, advised Mr. Merkin until 2001, during which time New York University increased its Ariel investment.

1993. Began to lose his way sixteen years ago.

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3 Responses to ““I’m a Little Lamb Who’s Lost in the Woods,” Part II.”

  1. Dave Stone Says:

    Hmmmm. When Victor the convicted felon tells you, "I dunno, Ezra, seems a little shady," it’s probably time to go with a low-cost index fund.

  2. monboddo Says:

    Actually, hiring Teicher may not have been a bad idea. Ignoring his advice, now…

  3. peter Says:

    Here is an extract from a similar article on the Wall Street Journal website:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090215-702850.html?mod=

    “Charles A. Stillman, a lawyer for Teicher, said Sunday that Teicher wasn’t actively managing the fund’s assets, but acting more in an advisory role. After he was convicted, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sought to bar Teicher from associating with any registered or unregistered investment advisers.

    Teicher was permitted to continue advising unregistered investment advisers, such as Merkin, until a final, unappealable court ruling on the SEC’s bar request under an agreement with the SEC, Stillman said.
    When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the SEC in 2000, Teicher immediately stopped advising Merkin, Stillman said.”

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