Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Welcome Homm!

Every once in a while, Pink Slip does a bit of a look back in time, a “where are they now?” for someone I’ve blogged about in the past.

So when I saw Florian Homm’s name in a headline – which prompted an “hmmmmm: I think I posted about him-Homm at one point” -  I decided to dredge him-Homm up. (See: Florian Homm goes off the lam)

For those who have forgotten him, Homm is a German-born hedgie who went on the lam after being accused of swindling his fund investors out of $200 million. Life on the lam in Colombia lasted for a few years - heartbreaking years away from “colleagues, clients, acquaintances, friends, bimbos, dogs, family and children.”

I, of course, felt tremendous sympathy for him, especially having to bid adieu to all those bimbos.

But life on the lam wasn’t all bad.

Homm managed to write his memoir, Rogue Financier: The Adventures of an Estranged Capitalist. And get it published. To promote his book, Homm headed home to Germany and apparently decided that Europe was an altogether better environment for a rogue financier/estranged capitalist. So he stayed.

It was in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence that Homm was arrested last March. And last week,

…Italy’s highest court approved Homm’s extradition, despite his petition to be hospitalized for multiple sclerosis in Italy. The 6-foot, 6-inches tall, cigar-smoking German stands accused of defrauding his investors, causing $200 million in losses. He’s charged with four counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, and securities fraud, and faces up to 75 years behind bars. (Source: Business Week)

So Homm, who notoriously escaped with $500K in cash stuffed in his undies, will be winging his way back to America, where he misbegot his fortune.

In addition to Homm, who can’t be looking forward to 75 bimbo-less, cigar-less, Uffizi Gallery-less years in the slammer, I’m guessing that the only other person sweating this extradition is Amanda Knox. If Ms. Knox is convicted in her murder retrial in an Italian canguro court, the Italian government will no doubt be looking for a Red Rover return, as in “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Amanda right over.”

They gave us Florian Homm; they’ll want Amanda Knox.

I know, I know. Apple and orange.

Still, Amanda Knox can’t be all that happy when she gets wind of Italy-US co-operation on criminal extradition matters.

But for now, we’ll settle for getting Florian Homm back. I suspect his trial will be a doozy.

Starting with his name, this one has got flamboyant written all over it. (And what’s with these names? Last year’s miscreant was Goldman’s Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre, who was in cahoots with John Paulson on some type of collateralized debt obligation that nobody understood. Except, possibly, Paulson, who made a lot of money betting against the CDO’s that he helped invent. Paulson was not charged in the case, in which investors took a $1 billion haircut. But Fabulous Fab was charged – and convicted. Maybe it’s just plain more fun to go after the guys with the exotic monikers.)

Asked for comment, Homm’s U.S. lawyer, Jan Handzlik sent a statement to Bloomberg reporter Edvard Pettersson: “Mr. Homm looks forward to proving his innocence in court,” it reads. “Once all of the evidence is heard, he is confident the facts will demonstrate he acted honestly and in the best interests of investors in the hedge fund ACMH.”

See you in court, Florian.

And welcome Homm!

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