Legal Ethics

Dreier Controller: I Refused Jailed Boss’s Request for Escrow Millions

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The controller of the Dreier law firm says in a sworn statement that he refused to wire up to $10 million in escrow funds to his boss sitting in a Canadian jail.

The statement was contained in court filings by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wall Street Journal reports. It says lawyer Marc Dreier, arrested in Canada on charges of impersonating an in-house lawyer for a pension plan, made two requests to have escrow money wired to his personal accounts. The first was for $8 million and the second for $10 million.

Controller John Provenzano says he refused both requests, but he did agree to connect Dreier with bank officials, the Wall Street Journal story says. He also said he told Dreier that the law firm owed $38 million to clients in connection with its representation of 360networks, but escrow accounts contained only half of the needed money.

Dreier is the sole equity partner in the law firm that bears his name.

The SEC has frozen the assets of Dreier and his law firm. Dreier is facing both a civil suit by the SEC and federal charges in the United States that claim he tricked sophisticated investors into paying more than $100 million for worthless forged debt instruments supported by faked financial documents.

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