In his first television interview since being sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, Ponzi schemer Marc Dreier sat down with Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” to discuss how and why he defrauded investors of nearly $400 million. Dreier, a Manhattan lawyer, said he “fell into the trap of wanting to be more successful than [he] was,” which led him to convince hedge funds to invest in the company belonging to his former client, Sheldon Solow, who had no idea what Dreier was up to. The scheme allowed Dreier to fund not only his law firm, Dreier L.L.P., but also his luxurious lifestyle including a Manhattan triplex for which he said he paid $10.5 million; an $18 million, 120-foot yacht with a crew of 10; and an $11 million oceanfront home in the Hamptons. “I thought if someone would ever interview me for a program like yours it would be for something good I’ve done not for something humiliating,” Dreier said. Asked how he got away with it, he mused, “I guess I heard a long time ago, too, that the more money you look for the fewer questions people ask sometimes.”
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