Monday, June 20, 2005

Andrei Shleifer Defrauds the Government and Harvard Buries the News

I think Harvard needs to get a better PR dept--or someone inside its administration does not like Andrei Shleifer--author of, get this, The Grabbing Hand:

Harvard and its star economist Andrei Shleifer ’82 said on Monday they had reached a tentative settlement with the U.S. government in a five-year-old fraud suit that has spanned two continents and embarrassed both the University and the professor.

The terms of the settlement were not announced, and the parties said several details still need to be resolved. At a hearing in U.S. District Court on Monday, Judge Douglas P. Woodlock gave the parties 60 days to ink the deal.

The agreement came nearly a year after Woodlock found Shleifer, who is the Jones professor of economics, and Jonathan Hay, a former Harvard employee, liable for conspiring to defraud the government. The two men made personal investments in Russia while advising a U.S.-funded program to privatize the economy there in the 1990s.....

Yesterday’s hearing, originally scheduled for March, was postponed four times, most recently on the first of this month. That delay, according to a Harvard official who has been briefed on the case, was a public-relations move intended to push the settlement announcement until after Commencement, when the news would receive less attention.
This story has, rather mysteriously drawn very little coverage from the mainstream press. The best coverage is David Warsh's economicprincipals blog--especially here.

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