Some Stories – Unusual and Notable Matters
Case of the Embezzling CFO:
Mr. Bogen was serving as General Counsel to a successful growing company when he was advised that the company was replacing its CFO due to his poor performance. On the terminated CFO’s last day and the first day for his replacement, Mr. Bogen was called by the CEO who reported, shockingly, that the former CFO had committed suicide by hanging himself in a bathroom at the company’s office. It was quickly determined that he had been embezzling regularly from the company. Mr. Bogen and his legal team discovered that the CFO had paid for life insurance premiums directly with his client’s funds. After diligent research by Mr. Bogen and the legal team that he was leading, it was determined that because the CFO had directly paid for the life insurance policy with the Company’s funds, the life insurance policy legally belonged to the Company. The policy more than compensated the Company for all of the funds that had been embezzled.
Mr. Bogen was contacted by a nationally recognized artist who related that years ago when she was estranged and no longer living in the same state with her husband, he “donated” an expensive sculpture that she had created without her consent or knowledge. More than 10 years later, the artist wanted to move the sculpture to a more appropriate exhibition space as part of her desire to cement her legacy as an important artist. Mr. Bogen was able to persuade the “donee” to release the sculpture at no cost to his client.
While a young associate lawyer, Mr. Bogen left for a vacation with friends. In the cab to the airport, Mr. Bogen found an envelope. He opened it and found it contained $300 in cash. The only other item was a deposit slip with a name but no other identifying information. This was many years ago before cell phones. When he arrived at the airport, he called information for the phone number for the name on the deposit slip only to find that it was unlisted, and the operator informed him that only the police could get access to the number. He then called the police. They, in turn, called and were able to confirm that the money belonged to the person named on the deposit slip. The police were disappointed though that the man showed little gratitude that Mr. Bogen had gone through all this effort when he could easily have just pocketed the $300. Then, about a week later, Mr. Bogen received a thank you note from the man with a check for $10 as a reward. However, the check bounced, and he was charged a $15 bounced check fee by his bank. Goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished.
Fourteen co-workers in a pharmacy regularly purchased lottery tickets as a group and one day they won - $1 million! The question was how to claim the prize (there can only be one ticket holder) and myriad other issues that one would not normally think about – such as who would be the public face of the winner, confidentiality, and other issues. Mr. Bogen was retained and assisted the group to form a limited liability company, transfer ownership of the ticket to the new entity, collect and distribute the proceeds, and then dissolve the company.
Long Island College Hospital (LICH) was founded in 1858 in Brooklyn Heights, New York. This historic hospital was responsible for introducing the practice of bedside teaching in 1860, and it later became the first U.S. hospital to use stethoscopes and anesthesia. In 1873 it introduced the first emergency ambulance service in Brooklyn. Over the years, this formerly independent and successful hospital with extensive valuable real estate assets, became affiliated with and then came under the control of larger hospital systems in a number of transactions. Members of the Medical Staff of LICH strenuously objected to these transactions based on their belief that the patients, real estate and other assets of the hospital were being coopted at the expense of the Medical Staff, employees and local community. Throughout these transactions, Mr. Bogen was a key member of the legal team fighting these transactions. Ultimately the Medical Staff joined with several powerful labor unions, community groups and politicians to fight these transactions. From 2011 through 2014, this fight garnered substantial media attention as protests and legal battles ensued against, among others, the Department of Health and State University of New York System, that attempted to close LICH. At the end of this period, Mr. Bogen played a key role in a negotiation among all of the parties (more than 30 lawyers and stakeholders were involved) that lasted for more than 60 straight hours and ended in a settlement.