Dreier Probe Ensnares Top Hedge Funds

Dec 16 2008 | 3:54am ET

In terms of sheer volume of losses, the Marc Dreier scandal can’t stack up with the Bernard Madoff alleged Ponzi scheme. But there quite a few hedge funds stand to lose quite a bit of money in the case of the prominent New York lawyer charged with defrauding investors of about $380 million.

Federal prosecutors have named a number of prominent alternative investment firms in its subpoena of Dreier’s Park Avenue law firm, Dreier LP. Among the firms it is seeking information on are Elliott Associates, Sandell Asset Management, Fortress Investment Group, Eton Park Capital Management, GSO Partners and Concordia Partners.

New York-based Eton Park last week admitted it believes it is a victim of Dreier’s alleged scam, in which he sold phony discount notes to investors, including hedge funds.

“It appears that Dreier committed a large and sophisticated fraud that potentially affects many firms—including numerous hedge funds,” Eton Park wrote to investors. “While we were not one of the firms mentioned in the criminal or civil complaints filed by the government against Dreier, we own loans with which Dreier was involved and which we believe are affected.”

Eton Park said it has written down the value of the Dreier loans, calling the impact of the move “not material” and “well less than 1% of AUM.”

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