More than a decade ago – back in 2008 – the cover on successful long-time fund manager Bernie Madoff’s fraudulent operations was exposed to the world. Several years before the world of finance and courts of law agreed that Bernie Madoff had, in fact, defrauded countless investors of many billions of dollars, journalist and fraud investigator Harry Markopolos had sounded the alarm on Madoff’s operations.
However, seemingly nobody listened to what Markopolos had to say.
Last week, on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, Markopolos published a 175-page report that accused General Electric, a major business conglomerate, of engaging in the compilation and issuance of downright fraudulent financial statements to cover up the serious financial issues that the company has experienced for many years. Shortly after this report was published and financial news outlets began to report on what Harry Markopolos had to say, General Electric experienced the largest single-day share price drop in more than 11 years – dating back to the days of the Great Recession, in April 2008, to be exact – of 11 percent.
Shortly after the allegations were published by Markopolos, GE’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Lawrence Culp, issued a formal statement that alleged Markopolos’ allegations were nothing short of a successful attempt at “market manipulation – pure and simple.”
Culp went on to allege that Markopolos, who co-owns a hedge fund, wanted to profit from the major share price drop that resulted from the publication of his report.
Harvey Pitt, a former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreed with Culp’s allegations, further stating that he believed Markopolos was paid to publish the 175-page report by a hedge fund that stood to profit from short-selling General Electric shares.
One of the central parts of Markopolos’ allegations revolves around GE’s long-term care reinsurance business. The fraud investigator believes that the long-term care reinsurance business is hiding billions of dollars in losses that will eventually unravel as its many policyholders get older.
Earlier today, on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, the Kansas Insurance Department published a formal press release that indicated it doesn’t support Harry Markopolos’ allegations against the business conglomerate. It’s important to note that the reason why the Kansas Insurance Department published a press release on the issue is that General Electric’s reinsurance business is regulated in the state of Kansas.
Most of the losses that GE experienced last week have since been recouped. A majority of the company’s stock price rebound came as a direct result of Chief Executive Officer Lawrence “Larry” Culp buying up some $2 million in shares of the company.