Remember Barry Minkow, the Southern Californian who became a symbol of 1980s financial fraud with his $100 million ZZZZ Best carpet cleaning scam?
He's back in the news this week after a jury said his latest conspiracy, to drive down the stock of Lennar Corporation, is worth $1 billion to the company that was screwed:
Minkow is behind bars, serving a five year stretch, for the federal crime he committed.
Now California developer Nicolas Marsch III and his company, Briarwood Capital LLC, are on the line for the $1 billion after allegedly conspiring with Minkow to defame and extort Lennar.
A statement from Lennar sent to the Weekly indicates company executives aren't expecting to get paid. But they're claiming victory nonetheless. Lennar CEO Stuart Miller:
While collecting the award is doubtful, the true value of the verdict is the validation of our integrity, credibility and transparency, which have always been cornerstones of our foundation. The jury award represents a complete vindication of Lennar's reputation and good name.
A civil jury in Miami awarded Lennar $802 million in compensatory and $200 million in punitive damages. Lennar's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli of O'Melveny & Myers, said:
The jury's award sends an unmistakable message that you cannot extort companies and lie for money and expect to get away with it.
Minkow tried to reform his ways following the ZZZZ Best scam, even consulting for the FBI about how to ID corporate schemers.
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See also: Barry Minkow's New Scandal.
He became a donor to Community Bible Church in San Diego too. Of course, fellow church members ultimately alleged he bilked them.
Then came Lennar. There are always third chances, right?