Hamptons allure drove Dreier to $380 million Ponzi scheme, he says

September 29, 2009 01:46PM

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Dreier and his two Hampton homes

The driving force behind Marc Dreier’s $380 million Ponzi scheme was
simple: he wanted a beachfront house in the Hamptons, according to a
new interview
with Vanity Fair’s Bryan Burrough. The Manhattan lawyer,
59, who is currently serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for
fraud in the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, said he thought
it would make him “happy again” after a series of professional
disappointments and a painful divorce. And so, Dreier explained, he
began by selling the non-existent debt of client and New York real
estate developer Sheldon Solow to hedge funds. “I was very, very
caught up in seeing the criteria of success in terms of professional
and financial achievement, which I think was a big part of the
problem,” Dreier said. His scheme unraveled when he was caught
impersonating a Toronto lawyer, just five days before news of the
Bernard Madoff scandal broke.