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Vicky Ward

Vicky Ward

Posted: August 5, 2009 01:23 PM

Andres Piedrahita Shamed By Media Into Leaving Mega-Yacht


Never let it be said that journalism doesn't reap results!

Last week I wrote how Andres Piedrahita, 50, the major shareholder of Fairfield Greenwich, the feeder fund that lost $7 billion of investors' money to Bernie Madoff, was summering on his new $30 million yacht, Oxygen. His publicist, Tom Mulligan insisted he was only on board to sell the boat to raise funds for a settlement pool for the fund's ruined investors -- which, as I pointed out, on both CNBC and MSNBC's Morning Joe, seemed like a ludicrous excuse. Everyone knows you don't need to be on a boat to sell it.

Turns out that Piedrahita's lawyers and publicists secretly agreed with me and advised him to get off it pronto! Though, of course, they claim to have not.

Still the facts are these: Ten days ago or so, Piedrahita had planned to pick up friends in Dubrovnik harbor to take them aboard Oxygen on a cruise of the Dalmatian coast. At the last moment he aborted the mission. "Vicky Ward has made my presence on the boat too embarrassing," he told them, according to my source. "My lawyers are livid with me. Some of my relatives (the Noel family, also the shareholders of FG) are livid with me. So instead why don't you join me instead on my farm in Palma?"

He explained to a potential guest he had a plane coming to pick him up the next day, since you cannot fly directly from Dubrovnik to Palma commercially. Perhaps someone with a cooler head suggested that flying privately might not be the best way to assuage FG investors, already infuriated about his summer cruise -- so, according to Mulligan he flew commercially from Split, Croatia to Mallorca, with a stop in Zurich.

Currently Piedrahita is now in Mallorca with just his family, according to Mulligan.

My post, Mulligan says, had no bearing on Piedrahita's itinerary, which is odd because I actually heard about the change of plans and the reasons for them indirectly from one of the would-be guests of Mr Piedrahita, who dropped out once they heard there would no longer be a cruise.

Someone close to Piedrahita says that he has told people he hopes, despite FG's ongoing litigation with investors, to give up none of his wealth, gained from fees from FG investors (with the exception, obviously, of the now infamous boat, Oxygen). I wonder how his lawyers will explain his alleged attitude to FG's ruined investors. I look forward to hear what they have to say on this point... Meanwhile, anyone, do send in pictures of Piedrahita's Palma estate -- I'm sure FG investors want a long hard look at what it might be worth.

And as for you, Mr. Piedrahita, you can run, fly, or indeed sail the globe but you cannot hide...

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