Billion Dollar Lies: How Lennar Corporation Swindled Pensioners, Lenders, And Partners And Undermined The Foundations Of Our Justice System
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This is a chilling tale of corporate fraud and deceit that is in a class by itself. When Lennar Corporation was confronted over hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged “losses” in a lucrative development partnership, they hired a scorched-earth litigation team to clean up the mess and conceal the evidence. More
This is a chilling tale of corporate fraud and deceit that is in a class by itself. When Lennar Corporation was confronted over hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged “losses” in a lucrative development partnership, they hired a scorched-earth litigation team to clean up the mess and conceal the evidence. And their choice of lawyers spoke volumes. The company hired the entire legal team that had just concluded an extraordinarily expensive but failed defense of Jeffrey Skilling, CEO of Enron.
But the litigation discovery process exposed the fact that Lennar had swindled the giant California Public Employees Retirement System, plus a Barclay’s Bank loan syndicate, and 5,000 unsecured creditors out of over one billion dollars. And that was the tip of the iceberg.
Documents obtained from Lennar Corporation and others also proved that corporate assets were squandered when millions of dollars of the company’s resources were siphoned away and given to personal friends of Lennar’s CEO Stuart Miller. All at the expense of unwitting shareholders.
Further investigation into their business practices revealed a coast-to-coast pattern and practice of every flavor of fraud and extortion. Their victims included lenders, partners, pensioners, contractors, California taxpayers, the FDIC and others. In fact, they brazenly lied to not one but two U.S. Attorneys to draw attention away from their nefarious activities and to further their civil litigation goals.
These crimes were planned and executed by the top officers in the company, not some low or mid-level rogue employees. And they have left a swath of fraud and financial destruction in their wake. But the Lennar executives continue to live lavishly on the backs of these victims, and operate as if they all have get-out-of-jail-free cards in their pockets.
This is a compelling story that chronicles a real-life financial crime in progress and shows how the legal system can be undermined and even co-opted to further enrich companies like Lennar. And this narrative offers disturbing insight into the backroom secrets of big business, and proves once again that appearances and reality are often strikingly different.
Lennar’s lead lawyer, in closing arguments in the Jeffrey Skilling trial, described Enron as a “Wonderful Company” and a “Shining Star”. As you read this narrative you can determine for yourself if Lennar Corporation is the new “Shining Star” and a “Wonderful Company” destined to fill the celestial void created by the implosion of Enron.
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