Friday, May 1, 2009

What was it like to be a Stanford salesman?

I can’t resist.  Some things really are funny in their sad sort of way.

Justin Hare was a marketer who sold hedge funds for Onyx Capital.  Justin also worked for Stanford (the alleged ponzi).

Onyx (and its principal Jeff Schneider) at a minimum introduced Paradigm (a firm owned by the Vice President’s family) to two alleged frauds (Alan Stanford, Ponta Negra).  

Anyway Justin Hare (like several people involved in this) is not registered as a salesman for anything financial even though that is how he made a living.  (Justin – fix your registration.)

Justin did not hide it though.  He is a young good looking man, recently married to an equally young good looking wife.  He goes to church and at least on his myspace page he has enough attractive young women as friends to meet Nouriel Roubini’s preferred ratio.  

Being young and naïve he almost certainly thought that there was nothing wrong with his employer (the allegedly ponzi Stanford) and so he proudly put on his myspace page the photos of his business trip to Antigua.  

I have repeated them below.  People who lost money at Stanford probably will find this less grimly amusing than me.

First two photos - both posed - in the private jet

And here is Stanford's own private jet hangar in Antigua

With its own entrance to customs

Just to make sure you were in the lap of a really big-spending company the whole thing is labelled "Stanford Aviation".  

And whilst the road to Stanford Aviation was not paved with gold it was paved with something peculiar...

From here they were taken to the upmarket resort at Jumby Bay...

And I guess it surprised nobody that the Pavillion at Jumby Bay had its own dedicated Stanford wine cellar...

Or that Sir Allen's boat was parked in harbour.

What amazes me about this though is the lack of self reflection.  Justin Hare is young.  He is 25.  Nobody showers ordinary 25 year olds with this much lavish attention.  

But there is no evidence that the salesman in question thought this sort of excess unusual or indicative of something smelly.

We live in a society where the appearance of money - and the possibility of having some - gets people to leave either their conscience or their judgement at the door (or in this case the departing aircraft hanger).  

And that is why I found these photos grimly amusing.


PS.  The Myspace page has been set on private so you can now no longer see the photos without being one of Justin Hare's "friends".

Given that people who sell products like this tend to resurface I have decided to put a single identifying photo up.  This is Justin Hare on the plane.

Also - the (US) Stanford receiver is suing 66 Stanford salesmen for their sales commissions received.  Justin Hare is not on the list.  

I have not forwarded a copy of this post to the receiver - but if people feel strongly about it they are most welcome.


PPS.  Here he is skiing at Whistler.  Stanford money hard at work!

Final postscript:  I tracked Justin Hare down again.  He appears to have taken an entirely honest sales job.  It probably pays less - and it certainly does not come with trips to Antigua.  I almost feel like taking this down now Justin is working an honest job for honest money.  But hey - lets keep it here as a reminder for Justin.


Anonymous said...

Another brilliant find, John.

James Kahler said...

John, This was well stated. Understated really. The pictures tell the story themselves, but your accompanying monologue really drives it home. Paints an important, and I think appropriate melancholy tone, which, again, you appropriately point out is much much bigger than this whole Stanford thing.

Anonymous said...

> We live in a society where the
> appearance of money - and the
> possibility of having some - gets
> people to leave either their
> conscience or their judgement at
> the door (or in this case the
> departing aircraft hanger).

I may be wrong, but I doubt this is a function of our particular society. This is a *personal* matter, and learning that ethics matter more than anything else is one of the most important personal lessons. I might concur that we live in a society which is arranged in such a way as to discourage, minimize or ignore this particular lesson.

John Hempton said...

Blank - much as I appreciate your opinion I think it is wrong in this case.

Justin Hare lists - up front - that the church is about the most important thing in his life. (Baptist.)

I believe the church provides a social base for him as well... but there is nothing in the myspace site that implies that he thought he was doing anything wrong on that business trip for Stanford.

If he really thought that I doubt he would have posted it.

Obviously I can't read his mind - but in this case it was probably poor judgement rather than evil intent.

My guess only.


Alex said...

This isn't the only post about Justin:

Anonymous said...

> Justin Hare lists - up front -
> that the church is about the most
> important thing in his life.

You are what you *do*.

In Church what you *do* is sit down and accept that what someone else tells you is the truth and that's how you should live your life.

Church set him up to fall for Stanford - someone else telling him what to do and what's right.

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Well young Justin was in good company, Marylebone Cricket Club for example!

At the time of the Twenty-Twenty matches, so lavishly endowed by Stanford, I asked myself, after a visit to the corporate website, "Why are they not established in Dubai, UAE?".

The pictures answer my question: "Briefcase salesmen from the 80's and 90's."

Bugs Bunny said...

I'm with John here in that Justin Hare is another one of those people praising Jesus so long as the money comes rolling in because God is nothing but a money spigot to those that believe in him as per Creflo Dollar and all the other 'Name it and claim it!' sinners out there.
Perhaps Justin should re read the part about Lazarus in the new testament.

Or perhaps my personal favorite, the Book of Job.

Yes, I , Bugs Bunny, have a personal favorite book in the bible. I'm also somewhat of a Franciscan monk at heart.


Anonymous said...

Some of you guys are funny. So being a devout Baptist exonerates you from committing securities violations--and possibly worse? How about you can't sell securities without proper licensing? What about fiduciary duties? Even the lax SEC knows better.

Anonymous said...

I live for the day when neighbours over the back fence compare the laying habits of their chickens, instead of the quarter mile performance of their BMWs. That day is soon. America, England, you had it all - and blew it. Funny none of you have said "sorry" to the world.

John Hempton said...

Securities violations were committed.

Anonymous said...

Such an attitude in young professionals may be ascribed to our education system. In this computer age, it is difficult to differentiate between real and virtual worlds.

FlashRabbit said...

The BBC's about to break a story about Stanford being on the payroll of the DEA - allegedly. The plot gets thicker...enjoying the ride and especially your assiduous investigative journalism....

FlashRabbit said...

and FTAlphaville has a great little Stanford/DEA vignette here -

Anonymous said...

Wow. completely false. The entire blog is simply skewed. I am amazed at how low people will go. You are so off base with your assumptions. It's a shame that you would throw a 25 year old, good kid under the bus. Nice work John.

Anonymous said...

Justin Hare served in a support role to the relationship management team. He did not talk to clients. He did not make sales. He did not collect commissions. He did, it seems, make the mistake of posting some photos (which he did not take) on his Myspace page, which now makes it easy for you to write a sensationalized story about him.

He also seems to be guilty of not being sufficiently rightous as to immediately quit his job the instant he was offered a reward trip to Antigua. All those with sufficient evidence of such rightous behavior (no, saying now what you would have or what he should have done does not count) may commece trowing stones at both of us (yes, I was on the trip, too, and no, I didn't quit either).

By the way, that is not Mr. Stanford's boat. I hear he has a very nice one, but that is not it.

Also, that is the Stanford hanger in Sugarland, not the one in Antigua.

Also, contrary to your assumption, it did suprise me that The Pavillion had it's own wine cellar at Jumby Bay, dedicated to anybody. The reason? The Pavillion is not at Jumby Bay. It is on the main island, within the Stanford Grounds.

John Hempton said...

to the last anon comment - I wish you would sign it.

The photos almost certainly were taken by Justin because he fails to appear in group shots in the sequence - but appears in individual shots...

He did take the trip to antigua - and his CV at various places has described his job as sales support/sales at Stanford.

Also appearing in the photos is his older brother - Seth Hare.

Seth Hare was a direct report of Stanford's CFO. He was on the same trip.

Oh, the hanger is in Antigua - it was in a sequence of other photos going down to the waterfront.


Seth now works for IMS Securities in Texas. Also using IMS's license is Alla Babikova (another person who was at Onyx) and a few others.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what Justin does or doesn't state on his CV, but his role at Stanford was to support the relationship management desk. He did well at that job. He certainly had nothing to do with any alleged fraud. Just because someone is an easy target doesn't mean they are the correct target.

I am quite certain Justin did not take those photos. You say he fails to appear in the group shots. In fact, he is in all three of the group shots you posted. Additionally, I know who did take those photos.

The Stanford CFO is/was James Davis, and he was not on that trip. I think you are referring to the then President of Stanford Capital Management, and yes, he was on the trip. As you said, Justin's older brother was also on the trip.

John Hempton said...

If you read the post I am gentle with him.

I wonder where the judgement got left behind - and it clearly got left behind because Stanford did not make sense and never did make sense.

The trip to Antigua never made sense either.

Justin Hare is in my view unemployable in finace because his judgement is unsound.

I never alleged he was criminal. Just foolish.

Really foolish.

His brother was MUCH more senior at Stanford.


Anonymous said...

I worked at Stanford on the bond portfolio (SAM) and was let go about one year before the investigation went down. I know all the people pictured in the photos except for the guy sleeping on the plane.

Justin did nothing but answer phones at Stanford. He had no licenses, he did not pass the exam, he did not sell anything. He was fired after I was.

Seth was hired by Jason D'Amato (SAS Portfolio Manager), Seth worked on the equity portfolios (SAS). As with Justin, Seth was not the brightest crayon in the box either. Neither Hare's were instrumental in fraud. They were barely instrumental in anything at Stanford. Justin got the job because of his brother. Seth only kept his job because of his friendship with Jason. Both were totally inept at their jobs.

The trip to Antigua happened after I was fired. My old commrades told it had nothing to with bonuses or sales. It was a moral booster. All of SCM had the opportunity to go, three other groups went as well. Secretaries, analysts, assistants, all were allowed to go.

John is wrong about Justin. The fact that he thinks he's a salesman is way out of bounds. His "facts" are just wrong.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to see something entertaining, check out this page on the Dia Lucrii Capital, LLC page:

What, you ask, is so funny about this?

The diagram on this page is copied DIRECTLY from Stanford Capital Management marketing material. It was something of a joke within Stanford Capital Management, as everyone knew that it was not the process actually used to select investments. I guess this worked for Jason D'Amato at Stanford, so why not try reusing it now? It's pretty shameful when D'Amato can't even take the time to draw up some new sham marketing material for his new little Stanford 2.0 aka Dia Lucrii Capital.

Is FINRA really too busy asking how they got caught sleeping on the job with Madoff and Stanford to be out protecting the public from the next round?

Anonymous said...

Dia Lucrii Global, LP SEC filing lists D'Amato and Seth Hare as Executive as Executive Officers. What a joke. Who would ever put a dime in an investment fund managed by these guys? Putting up an investment process flow chart they used in Stanford Capital marketing materials that they have no intent of following,yeah seems they knew exactly how the scam worked.

Anonymous said...


I was probably there on the desk with Seth and Jason when you were there. I'll give you a hint of who I am, I was the only one with glasses and I sat on the same side with Seth and Jason until they fired me to give a job to Justin. I agree with you totally, Jason and Seth are terrible to use that strategy that they have no intention of following.

Anonymous said...

In the group shot he is seated in the second row on the right, so he did not take the picture. Hes not that smart to know about anything illegal

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