In the comments to our post, some of you wondered about the lack of MSM coverage. The story has now been picked up by the New York Post, the New York Times’s City Room blog, and the WSJ Law Blog (all of whom mention ATL — thanks for the shout-outs).
From the NYP story:
The founder of a high-profile Manhattan law firm – and close friend of retired Giant Michael Strahan – has been arrested in Canada on charges of criminal impersonation, The Post has learned.
The powerful white-shoe lawyer, Marc Dreier, 58, was arrested on Wednesday and is cooling his heels in a grimy jail cell just west of Toronto.
We had also heard the impersonation allegation, but held off on mentioning it until we had more details. One source tells ATL that the alleged impersonation stemmed from Marc Dreier’s attempt to secure a loan. When credit markets get tough, the tough get… new identities?
The Post also reports that Dreier was arrested on Wednesday; we reported the arrest took place Tuesday. According to City Room, the arrest took place late on Tuesday night (11:25 PM).
More from the Post:
“He is in provincial custody in Maplehurst Correctional Complex,” said an employee at the Ontario pokey. His bust stems from his alleged role in a multimillion fraud case, a source told The Post.
A detective for the Toronto Police Department confirmed Dreier’s arrest but said he couldn’t provide specific details about the nature of the criminal impersonation charges because the investigation was still ongoing.
Additional details, from news accounts and from ATL sources, after the jump.
We reported that the firm’s holiday party was canceled. The Post confirms this:
Brass at the 250-lawyer firm, Dreier LLP, booked the hotel’s pricey Starlight roof for their Yuletide Celebration, but a Post reporter found the hall on the 18th floor completely empty last night, with chairs stacked against the wall.
Over the years, Dreier – who set up The Michael Strahan Foundation to help disadvantaged kids – has been hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars in judgments and tax liens.
They include a $622,000 IRS judgment on an East 58th Street apartment that he owned, and a $98,000 federal tax lien on a Southampton property, according to public records.
Speaking of Marc Dreier’s property, we mentioned that he has “a fabulous Manhattan apartment rumored to rent for $50,000 a month.” A source tells us that Dreier owns this apartment (which would rent for $50,000), as well as at least five other homes, including places in Santa Monica and the Hamptons. We also hear that Marc Dreier is the owner, in part or in full, of a yacht and a plane.
As for what’s next in his case, a bail hearing is taking place this morning in Canada, after which Marc Dreier is expected to be released.
Meanwhile, trouble may be brewing for Marc Dreier back in the United States. As we mentioned yesterday (see the 1:40 AM update), significant sums are missing from firm escrow accounts. We initially mentioned $38 million; another source suggests the number may be lower, but is at least $20 million.
The Dreier partners (excluding Marc Dreier obviously) have retained criminal and civil counsel to investigate these matters. They have also alerted the U.S. Attorney’s Office of possible offenses related to the escrow fund shortfalls.
Update (10:20 AM): From City Room, here’s a statement just issued by Debra Hanna, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan:
On Tuesday afternoon, we learned of fraudulent behavior by an individual visiting our premises. We immediately alerted the police. An individual was arrested by the police and has been charged.
No Teachers Pension fund staff member was involved in the fraudulent behavior.
We’ve reviewed our security procedures in relation to this situation and we believe that no Teachers Pension funds are involved.
STAR LAWYER IN FRAUD BUST [New York Post]
New York Lawyer Is Arrested in Toronto [City Room / NYT]