Inside the Harvard Business School Ponzi Scheme

The idea sounded solid on the surface. Vlad Artamonov told prospective investors, many of them his former classmates from Harvard Business School, that he’d discovered a hidden way to learn which stocks Warren Buffett was buying early, an edge that would make him a lot of money. It involved, he said, combing through esoteric state financial disclosures and then trading on the information — essentially, a way to obtain insider tips legally. “Have an insane idea,” he told one investor in the fall of 2022. But it seemed plausible coming from Artamonov, who, in addition to his Ivy League credentials, had spent more than five years at Greenlight Capital, the highly regarded activist hedge fund run by David Einhorn, a self-described admirer of Buffett. He told investors he aimed for returns of as much as 1,000 percent and wanted to make “hundreds of millions of dollars” on the play. “It is really a ridiculous information arbitrage,” he told another investor that fall. “Basically getting tomorrow’s newspaper today. Literally having a private time machine.”

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As the months passed, the friend reached out to someone he knew who had also invested with Artamonov and voiced what seemed like a crazy, irrational fear. “There’s no way Vlad would be running a Ponzi scheme, right?” he asked….

Source: Inside the Harvard Business School Ponzi Scheme