How It's Done
In handling disputes with third parties such as former employees or defrauded investors, a Machiavellian "take-no prisoners" strategy has long been undertaken by Morgan Stanley. However, this was taken to new levels in 1999 by its then new General Counsel for the firm - to wit, Donald Kempf, a long time former senior partner at the lawfirm of Kirkland & Ellis, which despite his subsequent departure, remains very much in place today.
This section reviews their:
⇨ Intended Effect and
⇨ Tactics Employed
Also included are stories of three people who were not only targets of the Morgan Stanley / Kirkland & Ellis ("MS/K&E") wrath, their modus operandi was exposed in the national media -- those targeted were:
⇨ Ron Perelman - Billionaire Financier
⇨ Allison Schieffelin - Former Executive Director at Morgan Stanley; and
⇨ Christian Curry - Former Associate who worked for Spencer C. Young at Morgan Stanley.
While there are commonalties in the experiences of each with that of Spencer C. Young, MS/K&E had taken things to an entirely different level with Mr. Young, a former "insider" who watched it happen to an associate who worked for him, and experienced it first-hand as the target of MS/K&E's wrath.
The MS/K&E modus operandi in destroying someone deemed a threat to their franchise typically entails creating an overwheming level of turmoil and strife, so they are unwilling or unable to pursue their claims against Morgan Stanley. The end result is a morally depraved destruction of careers, reputations, lives, families, livelihoods and even the communities of their adversaries. In fact, Morgan Stanley and Kirkland & Ellis seek to cause so many trials and tribulations for the unfortunate person targeted that they will perhaps be pushed to turn to drugs in order to escape the pain and eventually "go off the deep end", as depicted in the below video clip.
The Intended Effect
The Tactics Employed
The malicious campaigns choreographed by Morgan Stanley/Kirkland & Ellis ("MS/K&E") feature a wide range of elements, examples of which are summarized below:
⇨ Circulate Smears Among Lawyers - Word is actively circulated among other local attorneys in a specialized practice (e.g., employment law, or bankruptcy law) about their target being a "difficult" client, such that a "jaundiced eye" results, severely impeding the engagement of replacement counsel
⇨ Concoct Smears - In the event no skeletons exist, then bold face lies are introduced to achieve the same result
⇨ Create Vexation - Although care is taken to give the impression that the legal work of an engaged attorney is being executed in good faith, chronic delays eventually frustrate the target client;
⇨ Delay/Intercept Delivery of Documents - Entails deliberately preventing or otherwise delaying the timely delivery of urgent or otherwise
time-sensitive legal documents such that a hearing or critical deadline is missed in order to deceitfully compromise the legal position of their target
⇨ Divide & Conquer - This is an often employed and highly effective strategy and it is predicated on a famous aphorism by Abraham Lincoln " A house divided against itself cannot stand ". This strategy is especially dastardly because they surreptitiously attack the family and other loved ones of their target and cultivate conditions whereby they turn against each other, and effectively self-destruct, and the number of ways they go about this is infinite. In the case of Spencer Young, MS/K&E destroyed his career, denied him a livelihood, smeared his character, separated him from his many accomplishments, stole his assets and denied him a livelihood. And operatives were concurrently employed to influence Mr. Young's family and loved ones to interpret his inability to provide for them as he always had, as callous abandonment, when nothing could be further from the truth. THIS is what makes Morgan Stanley and Kirkland & Ellis especially DANGEROUS.
⇨ Engage Operatives - Operatives are often attorneys used to identify and recruit others to play a role in a Machiavellian plan that will further MS/K&E's nefarious agenda. Those engaged to commit the misdeed in the field ("Agents") have no idea MS/K&E are involved.
⇨ Engage in Stonewalling - Operative attorneys are often "paid" handsomely to slow walk or simply just not prosecute a case
⇨ Gather Dirt - Their "m.o." typically starts with engaging private investigators to find any "skeletons in the closet" of their target, which is then exploited (e.g., public humiliation);
⇨ Hold-Out-the-Carrot and/or Use-the-Stick - Operatives are typically engaged by holding out a "carrot": if you do this for us, arrangements will be made to have a lucrative malpractice claimant sent your way; or the "stick": if you don't do as instructed, we will soon see to it that your law practice disappears. At times both strategies are employed.
⇨ Instigate Corruption - The most relied upon operative channel involves law firms, where unethical and unlawful favors are readily bartered without detection
⇨ Legal Bill Padding - Operative attorneys are encouraged to demand large retainers, and carry out unproductive busy work to make it appear they are working on your case
⇨ Media Smears - Various channels are then employed in a blitzkrieg fashion (e.g., TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, and blogging gossip-mongereres) are introduced as part of an orchestrated character assassination, the thinking being that if consistent disparaging comments are disseminated from various sources, then an unsuspecting public will accept the completely false message as fact.
⇨ Protect The Corrupt Attorneys - Assurances are also provided to corrupted attorneys that MS/K&E's influence at the disciplinary level will insure any complaints made will go nowhere;
⇨ Smear Orally - Disparaging statements are verbally circulated in the market place about the target creating specters of doubt
⇨ Staged Resignations - An attorney's client is justified to inquire why legal fees are so high in the context of so little being accomplished. Eventually, this preamble is then followed by the corrupted attorney's resignation, citing any entirely concocted "deterioration in the working relationship".
⇨ Timed Resignations - the aforesaid staged resignations are often geared to occur when a critical deadline is looming to most compromise the targeted client's legal position, and cause the most distress
The intended result is to wear down the spirit of the targeted claimant, undermining his/her credibility by character-assassination, depleting his/her resources to pursue the claim further (Ron Perelman is an obvious exception), and introducing enough creative ways to filibuster legal due process so as to kill the claim via operative statute of limitations.
Presented below are the stories of three people Morgan Stanley and Kirkland & Ellis sought to destroy -- and in each case, they bravely fought back and prevailed.
In each case, the ruthless and unlawful tactics of MS/K&E were exposed in the national media, and Morgan Stanley experienced resounding losses to each of them -- yet the widespread illegal practices continue -- and Spencer C. Young intends to put an end to this once and for all. The success stories of these diversely different individuals also point out the three principal reasons why Spencer C. Young has been delayed in this quest . . . and it has nothing to do with what he is, but rather what he is NOT.
Spencer C. Young . . .
⇨ . . . is NOT a billionaire;
⇨ . . . is NOT a woman; and
⇨ . . . is NOT African-American -- however, he's a former insider who's got the goods on Morgan Stanley and Kirkland & Ellis and a simple road map on how to expose and prosecute them for their misdeeds, and he is damn determined to see these unethical and unlawful practices are finally stopped . . . so countless others will no longer have to suffer.
In 2005, Ron Perelman sued Morgan Stanley for Fraud. He claimed they duped him into selling his interest in Coleman (a camping and boating company), to Sunbeam, receiving Sunbeam stock, whose value at the time reflected fraudulently inflated sales, which he said Morgan Stanley knew, as investment banking advisor to Sunbeam. What is noteworthy about this case is that it exposed Morgan Stanley's ruthless inner workings and many of the same unsavory and unlawful tactics (in collaboration with Kirkland & Ellis) that were employed against Spencer C. Young.
After Morgan Stanley rebuffed "with the back of their hand" all overtures to amicably settle the matter, Mr. Perelman communicated his plans to sue Morgan Stanley for "massive fraud". In response, Morgan Stanley made "highly personal threats", going on to say:
"We were put on notice from the outset, and they were very clear, that they were going to attack me personally . . . it was a clear threat".
Morgan Stanley and Kirkland & Ellis ("MS/K&E") then proceeded to engage in:
⇨ A Smear Campaign -- MS/K&E hired a private detective agency to dig up "dirt" on Mr. Perelman, and then institute a surreptitious smear campaign.
⇨ The Obstruction of Justice -- MS/K&E delayed hearing the case by stonewalling pre-trial "discovery" information requests, admitting to having deliberately withheld emails, and were found to have committed "willful and gross abuse of discovery obligations"
⇨ A Cover-Up -- MS/K&E put out diversionary misinformation and pulled advertisements from any media organization running stories about this matter
Morgan Stanley was found GUILTY by a jury verdict of having engaged in Fraud and Obstruction of Justice, which they later admitted to in filed court papers, and Mr. Perelman was awarded a judgment of $1.6 billion. This was later reversed on appeal based on a suspicious and seemingly irrational basis which Mr. Perelman is seeking to have overturned.
Relevant Documents: (Click on each one to access)
Allison was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley working as a Sales Person in the Fixed Income Group. She had been employed at Morgan Stanley for 15 years until she was abruptly fired without warning in October 2000 for what Morgan Stanley said was "gross insubordination" and for "initiating an abusive confrontation with her boss", going on to describe her as "an angry bitter woman who doesn't have a life". Just prior to her firing, she was subjected to a something known as "workplace mobbing", where she was suddenly excluded from client meetings, disparaged internally and given poor performance reviews predicated entirely on falsehoods.
After Morgan Stanley fired her, she was unable to find comparable work, for she too was the target of a malicious smear campaign engineered by Morgan Stanley, with the assistance of Kirkland & Ellis, who operated in the background.
Ms. Schieffelin was widely quoted in the media saying:
"Morgan Stanley had . . ."
⇨ " . . . destroyed my career"
⇨ " . . . destroyed everything I had put my heart and soul into for fifteen years"
⇨ " . . . engaged in unlawful practices"
⇨ " . . . diminished me from a somebody to a nobody"
⇨ " . . . denigrated my work and accomplishments"
⇨ " . . . diminished, demeaned, embarrassed, ostracized and humiliated me"
⇨ " . . . engaged in activities that were the 'kiss of death' to my career"
⇨ " . . . isolated and marginalized me"
She aptly summarized the primary intent of MS/K&E's dastardly deeds as follows: "They thought if they made my life miserable enough that I would just pack up and leave". But Allison Schieffelin persevered, and with the assistance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission led a discrimination lawsuit based on her travails and on behalf of other women, eventually prevailing with a $54 million settlement, of which she was paid $12 million for damages associated with the destruction of her career and extensive pain and suffering. Importantly, she helped bring about meaningful change in the fight against sex discrimination in the workplace.
Relevant Documents: (Click on each one to access)
Christian Curry was a junior Associate at Morgan Stanley when he became the target of Morgan Stanley's wrath, after he had apparently crossed someone in the firm, the identity of whom is not known, although at one time it was rumored to be Bill Lewis, who headed up Real Estate Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley. Mr. Curry was African-American, the son of a prominent physician and Ivy-league educated. Of note, Mr. Curry worked for Spencer C. Young on a large real estate portfolio financing in San Francisco, and shortly after successfully completing this seminal transaction, which made the front page of trade publications, Mr. Curry was ensnared in a scandal procreated by Morgan Stanley.
Mr. Young first learned something was amiss when asked by John Westerfield to write a very negative performance evaluation on Mr. Curry, suggesting he be sure to include thematic points such as: "not a team player", "accomplished little", "engaged in delusional hyperbole about his contributions", "difficult and argumentative", "doesn't get along well with others", etc. As his assessment of Mr. Curry's performance was quite the opposite, Mr. Young declined to do so, indicating he would not so compromise his integrity, and stood his ground despite urgings by Mr. Westerfield, which bordered on unprofessional.
The events that later unfolded were astonishing. Christian Curry was abruptly fired for allegedly padding expense reports, which included receipts from some strip clubs, which he later said he was asked to pick up by other Morgan Stanley employees who were more senior to him. At the same time embarrassing pictures of Mr. Curry surfaced, and he suddenly found himself on the cover of PlayGirl Magazine. As part of their arsenal of tactics, Morgan Stanley gathered some "dirt" (i.e., pictures from Mr. Curry's modeling days when he was in college) and they instigated this devastating form of smear concurrent with his firing.
Instead of departing in shame as was intended, Christian Curry stood up to the obviously orchestrated firing and smear campaign, and threatened to file a discrimination lawsuit. Morgan Stanley responded aggressively by arranging for a former acquaintance of Mr. Curry's (Charles Leuthke) to lure Mr. Curry into being framed for a Machiavellian conspiracy to plant racially divisive emails in the Morgan Stanley email system, and a sting operation was arranged with arguably some corrupt officials in the New York Police Dept. In August 1998, Mr. Curry was arrested and charged with five counts of felonies, which was widely reported in the media, bringing more shame to Mr. Curry, and also to his family. Shortly, thereafter, it was then learned Morgan Stanley had paid off Mr. Leuthke to frame Mr. Curry and submit false testimony against him, receiving $10,000 for his efforts. When this became known, the "$#!? hit the fan" and the media jumped all over it, kicking off a public relations nightmare for Morgan Stanley, for they were caught red-handed.
As fast as they were filed, the criminal charges against Mr. Curry were dropped, Morgan Stanley's General Counsel resigned, and Morgan Stanley ended up settling the matter for $52 million, of which Mr. Curry received in excess of $20 million for the pain and suffering thus caused by Morgan Stanley's maliciously orchestrated character-assassination. In a desperate attempt to save face, Morgan Stanley issued a press release about settling the matter by making a $1 million donation to a charity whose cause is to fight workplace discrimination , and paying Mr. Curry "no a single penny". Shortly after the press release, Mr. Curry was seen doing laps around the Morgan Stanley headquarters in Times Square, in his brand new Maserati.
Although Mr. Curry bravely stood up to Morgan Stanley's bullying tactics, and received a big pay day, he was widely quoted as follows:
⇨ "I'd never go through that again."
⇨ "Morgan Stanley has no qualms about trying to destroy the life of an employee who fails to fit in."
⇨ "I am not Jesus, but under no circumstances should I have been crushed like this."
Relevant Documents: (Click on each one to access)