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, Bloomberg.com, 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, SEC.gov
Contact SSEK today if you believe you are the victim of broker fraud.