Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free Rider - Book Review

Free Rider
by John Lawrence Reynolds.
Mcarthur & Co 2001

This is the story of the Bay Street Embezzler, Michael Holoday. For most of the 1990s, Michael was an investor and trader on Bay Street in Toronto. And for most of that same time, he stole the money he was given by his clients.

When it all started falling down around his head, he kept on asking for loans from his clients until eventually the Stock Exchange and the Police stepped in. Michael's trial was held during 2000.

I arrived in Canada in November 2000, so I missed all of this. Michael was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Twice during that 8 years, he was given day parole. Twice the parole had to be revoked, because he continued to borrow money, contuinued to make trades, and continued to live beyond his means. His sentence ends in December 2009.

Michael Holoday still beleives he was right and that he is entitled to live a good life with other people's money. Michael frequently made up false statemetns for his clients telling them that they had made a lot of money, when in reality most of his clients had lost money. As soon as they paid him money to deposit into their account, Michael would spend it. He never did the trades. He spent the money on his wife and his wife's family in a very loud and overly lavish manner.

Those who read this book will be checking their statements more carefully and questioning account discrepancies, I guarantee it. The Toronto Star.

1 comment:

John Mutford said...

I'm sure this was all over the news at some point, but I don't remember it at all. Then, I go into a sort of coma when they start doing business news.