The temptation for one millionaire to keep stealing proved to be his undoing, if recent allegation against him prove true.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mohammed Ali Rashid, a now-former senior partner at Apollo Management, was told twice by the private equity firm to stop stealing clients' money.
They say he kept doing it anyway.
Now, the SEC charged Rashid with defrauding his fund clients by secretly billing them for approximately $290,000 in personal expenditures. This included his family vacations, visits to a hair salon, and purchases of designer clothing and high-end electronics.
Apollo released the following statement to HousingWire:
“The SEC’s lawsuit, filed earlier today, is based on misconduct that Apollo discovered, stopped and promptly reported to the SEC more than four years ago and which was publicly disclosed more than a year ago. This misconduct is inconsistent with the high standards that Apollo requires of its employees. Apollo has ensured that any affected funds or portfolio companies were reimbursed for any potentially improper charges. Apollo has continued to enhance its internal policies and procedures with respect to employee expenses and has cooperated fully with the SEC throughout this investigation."
While the SEC and Apollo did not say exactly what funds Rashid may or may not have worked on, Apollo is a diversified investment strategy company.
As for our industry, as of June 30, 2017, Apollo’s real estate group had assets under management of approximately $13 billion through a combination of investment funds, strategic accounts and Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc.
The SEC’s complaint alleges Rashid, himself already a millionaire, would claim he was having business dinners, when they say he wasn’t, and that he once “doctored a receipt in an effort to justify his purchase of a $3,500 suit for his father as a business expense.”
Rashid was given two chances. According to the SEC’s complaint, despite being caught by the firm and told to stop on two occasions in 2010 and 2012: “Rashid continued to expense personal items to clients into 2013.”
That was the third strike, and Rashid admitted that he charged approximately $220,000 in personal expenses, according to the SEC. “A forensic accountant then uncovered additional personal expenses that Rashid improperly charged to clients,” the release states.
“As alleged in our complaint, despite earning millions of dollars, Rashid used client money to fund his lifestyle and personal expenses, including family vacations, designer clothing, and spa services,” said Anthony Kelly, Co-Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit. “Rashid knew what he was doing was wrong because he took active steps to conceal his misconduct.”