Former Broker Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud Following Allegations He Helped Law Firm Founder Mark Dreier Defraud Hedge Funds Through Ponzi Scam

Former broker Kosta Kovachev has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his alleged role in assisting New York law firm founder Marc Dreier with an alleged $380 million Ponzi scheme. Dreier is the founder of Dreier LLP. He was arrested last month on charges he convinced two hedge funds to give him over $100 million after he made false claims that he was selling discounted notes issued by Sheldon Solow, a New York developer.

According to prosecutors, Kovachev posed as the controller of Solow Realty for Dreier-even though he never worked for the company-after a hedge fund employee asked to meet with a Solow representative after the promissory notes were not paid back on time. Authorities are also accusing Kovachev of helping Dreier sell fake notes, totaling $113.5 million, to two other hedge funds last October, as well as posing as Solow’s CEO during a conference call to talk about financial statements. If convicted, Kovachev could spend up to five years in prison and have to pay $250,000 or twice the gross loss or gain as a result of his offense-whichever is greater.

At Kovachev’s bail hearing, Assistant US Attorney Jonathan Streeter says Dreier paid people that took part in “impersonations” for him up to $100,000 a phone call. Drier LLP filed for bankruptcy last December.

In 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Kovachev accusing him and several others of engaging in a different Ponzi scam and defrauding over 600 investors of over $28 million. Kovachev, who was accused of selling unregistered securities that were structured as hotel timeshare rental interests, was ordered to pay $350,000.

Dreier Case Leads to Charges Against Broker Kovachev,, January 5, 2008
Ex-Broker Charged With Helping New York Lawyer in Elaborate Fraud Scheme, New York Times, December 23, 2008

Related Web Resources:

SEC Charges N.Y. Attorney Marc S. Dreier With Multi-Million Dollar Fraud, SEC, December 8, 2008
“Ponzi” Schemes,
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