Marc Dreier was the founding partner of the New York law firm Dreier Stein and Kahan. At its peak in 2009 the firm was reportedly bringing in about $100 million in revenue. You might have heard of Marc Dreier if he had not been overshadowed by Bernie Madoff. But Dreier ran his own Ponzi scheme, cheating clients out of “only” $400 million. Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 145 years. Defense attorney requested a 20 year sentence. He got the shorter sentence.
Maybe you’ve wondered, like I have, what’s going through the minds of these people. Do they think they won’t get caught? Do they not care? Maybe they figure they’ll live it up while they can? Dreier’s letter to the judge in the case, prior to sentencing (downloadable here) might give some insight into Dreier’s state of mind. Some say this was just a way to get sympathy from the court (in which case it appears to have worked). To me it seems sincere. It definitely doesn’t excuse Dreier’s behavior, but it does possibly explain how such a successful man could end up in his situation and what was going on in his mind.