If Phil Falcone were be involved in a move for the Islanders, NHL regulations would force him to divest himself of if 45% ownership in the Minnesota Wild where his hockey career began. Falcone was a youth and high school hockey standout who was able to parlay his skills into financial aid at Harvard where he played for four years prior to a brief stint (one season) playing professionally in Sweden.
Sell the Wild to own the Islanders?
Falcone and Craig Leipold bought the Wild for $225 million in 2008 but are rumored to be at odds over the franchise’s roughly $20 million in losses each year. Last month, the Islanders announced that former Washington Capitals owner Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin picked up a minority share in the Islanders with the understanding that they would purchase the franchise outright in two years’ time.
That move, however, would require additional investors and Falcone went to Harvard with Ledecky.
The Islanders finished a disappointing 34-37-11 but have made significant moves this summer ahead of their last near playing in Nassau County. The Islanders will move to Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center at the end of the 2014-15 season and have spent accordingly including the signing of center Mikhail Grabovski to a four-year, $20 million contract, goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a four-year, $18 million contract, and left wing Nikolai Kulemin to a four-year, $16.75 million deal.
It’s a logical move for Falcone who calls New York City home, though his finances haven’t quite recovered from his troubles with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At one time had an estimated worth of $1.2 billion, according to Forbes.
SEC problems with Falcone
In 2012, the SEC alleged that he “used fund assets [of $113.2 million] to pay his taxes, conducted an illegal ‘short squeeze’ to manipulate bond prices, secretly favored certain customers at the expense of others, and that Harbinger unlawfully bought equity securities in a public offering, after having sold short the same security during a restricted period. Falcone founded Harbinger in 2001.
In May 2013 Falcone believed that he had reached a settlement with the SEC and addition to financial penalties he was to be banned from operating as an investment adviser for two years. That felt apart later in 2013 with SEC chairwoman, Mary Jo White, believing the settlement to be far too lenient.
Falcone was forced to pay more out-of-pocket fines rather than having them paid by Harbinger, was forced to admit wrongdoing ( a rarity) and banned from operating as an investment adviser for a period of five years.