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Bernard Cornfeld
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    (August 17, 1927-February 27, 1995)
    Born in Istanbul, Turkey
    Founded Investors Overseas Services (IOS)
    Introduced the ‘Fund of Funds’ (1962), an investment strategy of holding a portfolio in other investment funds instead of stocks and bonds
    Used the pitch ‘Do you sincerely want to be rich?’
    Maximum personal net worth of $100 million (1969)
    He spent lavishly on himself: ‘I had mansions all over the world, I threw extravagant parties, and I lived with several girls at a time.’
    His wife, model Lorraine Armbruster, left him over his constant womanizing.
    He had to sell off IOS’s American operations after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused him and the company of violating US laws (1967).
    IOS started hemorrhaging money during a sustained bull market (1969).
    He lost control of IOS to Robert Vesco (1970), who proceeded to loot the company’s remaining assets.
    He was accused in Switzerland of defrauding IOS employees by selling them stock in the failing company (1973) and spent 11 months in jail before raising bail.
    He spent three months in prison for using a ‘blue box’ to make free long distance phone calls (1976).
    Lawyer Richard Meyer said, ‘He only looks good when you compare him to Robert Vesco. He championed taking a buck from anybody, without scruples.’
    He was six when his father died.
    His Beverly Hills mansion was used as the home of rock star John Norman Howard (Kris Kristofferson) in the 1976 version of ‘A Star Is Born.’
    He was acquitted of the Swiss fraud charges after a three-week trial, with the prosecutor saying that he could not, in good conscience, ask for a guilty verdict (1979).

Credit: C. Fishel

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