The case is pretty much closed for Iftikar Ahmed, a fugitive venture capitalist who fled to India after swindling his company in 2015.
Ifty — as VC’s like to call him — hopped from Harvard to Goldman to his final venture capital firm, Oak Investment Partners, before being indicted for insider trading and defrauding Oak.
And the verdict is: liable
For anyone who slept through the law school class about liability: criminal wrongdoers are guilty, while civil wrongdoers are liable — but make no mistake, Ifty got caught.
Ifty the shifty first landed on the wrong side of the law in April 2015, with an SEC insider trading accusation. Only then did the brass at Oak decide to check their books, and what they found — well, it made them look pretty stupid.
So how’d he do it?
A scheme borrowed from a 3rd-grader with a sweet tooth
Thrifty Ifty asked mom (aka Oak) for more money than he needed to buy candy (aka international e-commerce companies). Then, when he bought the candy and brought it home, he’d pocket the rest of the cash.
Using his piggy bank padded with company shekels, Ifty had already bought himself a $9.6m mansion in Greenwich, CT, and luxury penthouses in Manhattan by the time a Connecticut court froze his assets in 2015.
But if Ifty was a misbehaving child…
Oak Investment Partners was a really negligent parent.
The SEC investigation revealed that Ifty manipulated at least 9 Oak investments for personal gain — often by making fake invoices, listing false exchange rates, or just making up numbers. In all of these cases, no one at Oak bothered to check Ifty’s work.
For venture capital firms built on trust between partners, fraud is an ongoing challenge. With $9B to insulate themselves, though, Oak managed to keep their doors open — even when Ifty tried to countersue for $133m while living in exile on his buddy’s couch in India.
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