Confessed Ponzi scheme operator Marc Dreier famously targeted investment funds for large portions of his near $400 million fraud. But his con also took several fashion players, including Nike Inc., Tommy Hilfiger USA Inc. and Diesel USA Inc., for smaller sums, according to a list of victims released in federal court last week.
This story first appeared in the August 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The once-prominent head of Dreier LLP was sentenced to 20 years in prison last month after pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy, money laundering and wire fraud for selling hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus promissory notes to investors.
On Aug. 19, Judge Jed Rakoff, of U.S. District Court in Manhattan ordered that Dreier also pay restitution to his victims. Hedge funds Elliot Associates LP and Fortress Investment Group topped the list, owed $99.9 million and $84.4 million, respectively. However, Rakoff also ordered that Dreier make good with smaller investors including apparel firms Nike, owed $243,124; Coogi Partners LLC, owed $47,650, and Adidas America Inc., owed $6,258.
The 24-name list included a handful of other fashion firms owed less than $5,000, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Seven For All Mankind, Rock & Republic Enterprises Inc. and Nautica Apparel Inc.
Court records did not immediately make clear how Dreier is to pay back his victims, though Rakoff ordered, in a July 17 ruling, that he forfeit millions of dollars worth of cash and property.
The 10-page list of assets included bank accounts, homes in the Hamptons and West Indies, an Aston Martin and a collection of contemporary art that featured works by Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.