Stalking the Kornman

Hate to say it, but till this morning, I had never heard of Gary M. Kornman, a Dallas attorney awaiting trial in federal court here after pleading not guilty to criminal charges of securities fraud and lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission. There are also others waiting in line behind the government, including Tampa, Florida's Howard Jenkins, the chairman of Publix Super Markets Inc.; he's worth about $400 million, according to SEC docs, and says in separate court documents filed in Dallas that Kornman tried to take $15 mil out of his pocket in 1998, according to The Tampa Tribune this month.

Seems like there are dozens of sad stories about Kornman's alleged dirty doings, which also include insider trading and fraud. Far as I can tell from searching both the paper's archives and Lexis-Nexis, there hasn't been a piece about the guy in The Dallas Morning News, but last year, Forbes ran a 3,000-word story about Kornman's actions, along with an impressive list of the people who claim he built for them them crumbling tax shelters now collapsing in on Kornman's head. And the SEC's legal filings make for pretty good reading too.

He's still awaiting trial in U.S. District Court, Northern District, but there has been a development: Forbes reports in its latest issue that Kornman's lawyer, Jeffrey Tillotson, made the "startling revelation" in court hearings that his client "found" 8,000 tapes--"including what others call secret recordings of client and prospect meetings," says the magazine--in a storage facility, after already insisting they'd been taped over or weren't relevant to the proceedings. I believe in legal terms that's called a pretty good discovery. --Robert Wilonsky

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