At the end, when his longtime client had found out about the phony promissory notes and the auditor’s lawyer was threatening to turn him in, when the client escrow accounts had been plundered and the hedge funds had figured out the scam, when he had to come up with money for the hundreds of people he’d persuaded to work for him and there was nothing left to pay them with, when the houses in the Hamptons and the restaurant in Los Angeles and the condo in Anguilla and the yacht and the cars and the art collection were about to be exposed as mere props in the stage set of his life–when the inevitable had finally arrived–Marc Dreier was ready to give up.

On December 2, when officials at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan told Dreier that they’d reported him to the Toronto police for pretending to be a pension fund executive in an attempt to fleece yet another hedge fund, he could have tried to flee. Dreier had a private plane waiting for him at the Toronto airport. He had friends in Italy and Turkey, clients in Argentina and the Middle East. And he knew that in New York, everything was unraveling. For months he’d been on a desperate, manic tear, trying to keep the show going. But in Canada he knew it was over.

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