Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lehman hit by $355 Million Fraud

As if Lehman, and the markets in general, this morning a report was released declaring that Lehman was fleeced out of more than $355 million in a fraud the investment bank believes was perpetrated by two employees at Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp. According to Reuters, the fraud may have hit other financial institutions as well.

If true, the scamsters perpetrated one of the more sophisticated corporate con jobs since Enron set up a fake trading floor to impress analysts. Lehman believes the scam included forged documents and an imposter.

The Reuters story says that Lehamn is allegin that two former Marubeni employees convinced Lehman to help finance what it understood were Marubeni's equipment leases and supply contracts with hospitals. Lehman gave the partnership money in advance to fund initial leases and contracts.

When Lehman sought payment under its deal on Feb 29, 2008, Marubeni said the seals on the contracts had been forged, and refused payment, according to the person briefed on the matter.

Marubeni declined comment on Lehman's statements, and said it could not give information on people no longer with the trading house or comment on ongoing investigations.
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