In March 1973, Raymond L. Dirks, an unconventional stock broker with a wide following on Wall Street, received a tip from a disgruntled former employee of the Equity Funding Corporation of America that sent him on a tense investigative odyssey without precedent in the history of finance. It was a trail of fraud, forgery, intimidation, and conspiracy.
The Great Wall Street Scandal is the inside story of the Equity Funding hoax, the most monumental money swindle of modern times. It tells of the rise and fall of an American corporation: of personal fortunes made and lost; of fleeced stockholders; of computerized crime, and of a bludgeoned stock market. through a spectacular scheme of fakery. Equity Funding had created over 100 million dollars in fictitious assets. It had forged death certificates, conterfeited bonds and created bogus insurance policies. Equity Funding fooled everone-investment advisors, banks, lawyers, accountants, auditors, insurance examiners, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the system that buttressed it, the stockholders who bought it. The Equity Funding case involves millions of hijacked dollars, fraudulent records, doctored tapes, subterfuge, threats of violence, and a story line and cast of characters having all the elements of a best-selling novel.
With the rise and fall of Equity Funding, an era on Wall Street ends, raising grave questions about the future of the Street, the performance of regulatory agencies, the role of the New York Stock Exchange, and the hazards to thesmall investors of a stock market dominated by institutions. The Equity funding story is more than the Watergate of Wall Street. It represents the abuse of enterprise and the erosion of morality. It is a statement of our times.