A reader sends along this link to a recent Bloomberg article on Chip Skowron, former Doubling Road resident who currently resides in federal prison. I’m not sure why Bloomberg chose to resurrect the story – Chip was bundled off to his new digs last January, but it’s an entertaining one, one that I, in my self-appointed and delusional role as wise counselor mention to all my young hedge funders whenever we pass by the house. I don’t actually say, “don’t f’ it up” but these are really smart people and they should be able to figure things out for themselves. On the other hand, Skowron was considered a sharp little monkey and he let greed and a desperate need for social status drag him down to ignominious ruin. So …
Today, Skowron, 43, is serving a five-year term for insider trading at the federal prison at Minersville, Pennsylvania. At FrontPoint, Skowron lied to his bosses and law enforcement authorities, cost more than 35 people their jobs and stooped to slipping envelopes of cash to an accomplice. FrontPoint is gone. Morgan Stanley, which once owned FrontPoint, is seeking more than $65 million from Skowron, whose net worth a year ago was $22 million. Until he’s a free man, his wife of 16 years will have to care for their four children and Rocky, their golden retriever, on her own. [Oh, the humanity! - Ed]
A friend of mine who lost his job at FrontPoint when it collapsed due to Skowron’s crimes tells me that the son of a bitch sat in partnership meetings for two years as rumors of his wrongdoing swirled around him, flat-out lying to their faces, promising them there was no truth behind those rumors whatsoever. FrontPoint was a small company, so lying to just a handful of partners was more personal, more direct, than a general denial issued to, say, the managing directors of a huge bank. That rankled.
My friend’s fine, quickly finding a new place of employment, and Skowron is not, so some justice prevailed, but really, how warped can a guy get just to accumulate a ten-car collection of speedsters and a big Greenwich house? He now has plenty of time to ponder that question. Chump. He should have watched Fargo.