December 5, 2008 6:34 PM
Document: Dreier Charged for Impersonating In-House Lawyer
Posted by Nate Raymond
By Nate Raymond in New York and Vesna Jaksic in Toronto
Marc Dreier, the founder and managing partner of New York's Dreier LLP, was released on bail Thursday after spending three days in a Toronto jail following his arrest for allegedly impersonating an in-house lawyer at the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund.
Toronto police arrested Dreier, 58, Tuesday on a charge of fraudulent impersonation. The arrest came after Dreier allegedly entered a meeting involving Ontario Teachers and a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group as Michael Padfield, senior legal counsel for investments at Ontario Teachers, according to spokespeople for the companies and a document obtained by The Am Law Daily.
A Fortress employee at the meeting "observed suspicious behavior by an individual and immediately alerted Ontario Teachers staff," company spokeswoman Lilly Donohue says.
After learning about the fraudulent behavior, staff at Ontario Teachers, which is busy with the BCE Inc. privatization, called police, the pension fund said in a statement.
"No Teachers' staff member was involved in the fraudulent behavior," the statement said. "We have reviewed our security procedures in relation to this situation and we believe that no Teachers' funds are involved."
Why Dreier was in Toronto is unclear, and his lawyer wouldn't say. He did not represent Fortress, a person familiar with the matter says. Dreier allegedly impersonated Padfield to obtain money, the legal document says.
Constable Tonyo Vella, a Toronto Police Service spokesman, confirmed the charge against Dreier, which came because he "impersonated himself as someone else and not himself." A spokesman at the Ministry of the Attorney General says the charge specifically spins out of 403B of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to fraudulently impersonate someone with the "intent to obtain any property or an interest in any property."
The legal blog Above the Law first broke the news of Dreier's arrest Thursday night.
Dreier was released on $100,000 Canadian cash bail ($78,700 U.S.). He had no comment as he rushed out of court, unshaven and disheveled, Friday afternoon. At one point, he stuck his hand out in front of a television camera as reporters surrounded him. His next court appearance is scheduled for January 22.
Meanwhile, Am Law Daily sibling publication the New York Law Journal reports that Robert Gold, of the New York office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and two of his partners, litigators Glenn C. Colton and Michael Sommer, have been retained to examine the operations and finances of the Dreier firm, including escrow accounts. As Gold confirmed , the three will be representing a "substantial group of partners and associates at the firm."
Dreier, 58, was the head of litigation in the New York office of Fulbright & Jaworski, where he practiced for six years until 1995, a Fulbright spokeswoman says. She adds that the office only had 10 litigators then and today has more than 60. Before that, he was a litigator at Rosenman & Colin, a spokesman for Katten Muchin Rosenman confirms.
See this earlier Am Law Daily story for more on Dreier's background and the implications his arrest may have for his firm.
Photo of Marc Dreier leaving court by Vesna Jaksic.Make a comment