Difference between revisions of "Thomas H. Dittmer"

From MarketsWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Biography)
(16 intermediate revisions by the same user not shown)
Line 3: Line 3:
 
|- style="vertical-align:top;"
 
|- style="vertical-align:top;"
 
| style="height:100px; width:700px; text-align:left;" |
 
| style="height:100px; width:700px; text-align:left;" |
 +
 +
{{Infobox Person
 +
|employer =  <!-- Where the person works, or leave blank -->
 +
|job      =  <!-- Person's occupation, type of work, NOT their company, or leave blank -->
 +
|loc      =  <!-- Location in the world, or blank -->
 +
|name    =  Thomas Dittmer
 +
|pic      =  <!-- Picture, or leave blank.  Syntax:  personpic.jpg -->
 +
|linkedin = <!-- Person's LinkedIn PUBLIC LINK, e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnjlothian, or blank -->
 +
|stocktwits = <!-- Person's StockTwits id, e.g. JohnLothian, or blank -->
 +
|twitter  =  <!-- Person's PROFESSIONAL Twitter id, e.g. JohnLothian, or blank -->
 +
|twitterpersonal  =  <!-- Person's PERSONAL Twitter id, e.g. JohnLothian, or blank -->
 +
|url      =  <!-- Person's web site, or leave blank -->
 +
|blog      =  <!-- Person's blog site, or leave blank -->
 +
}}
  
 
Tom Dittmer is a retired commodities brokerage executive who co-founded REFCO in 1969 with his step-father [[Ray E. Friedman]], for whom the company was named.  He retired as chairman of [[Refco| Refco Group]] in 1999.
 
Tom Dittmer is a retired commodities brokerage executive who co-founded REFCO in 1969 with his step-father [[Ray E. Friedman]], for whom the company was named.  He retired as chairman of [[Refco| Refco Group]] in 1999.
  
Dittmer was a former U.S. Army honor guard at the Whitehouse, serving during the Johnson Administration. He was part of the U.S. Army's prestigious 3rd Infantry Old Guard and he served as a White House social aide.<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/27/magazine/suddenly-it-s-chicago.html|name=SUDDENLY, IT'S CHICAGO|org=Chicago Tribune|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://beta.myvintro.com/reviewers/view/5f22d0e0-0b2b-434a-9502-86721124dc4b|name=Thomas Dittmer|org=Vintro|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>  
+
Dittmer was a former U.S. Army honor guard at the Whitehouse, serving during the Johnson Administration. He was a lieutenant and part of the U.S. Army's prestigious 3rd Infantry Old Guard and he served as a White House social aide.<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/27/magazine/suddenly-it-s-chicago.html|name=SUDDENLY, IT'S CHICAGO|org=Chicago Tribune|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://beta.myvintro.com/reviewers/view/5f22d0e0-0b2b-434a-9502-86721124dc4b|name=Thomas Dittmer|org=Vintro|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>  
  
 
His connections to the Whitehouse would help Dittmer win a pardon for his step-father, [[Ray E. Friedman]], who was convicted in the 1950s of fraud in selling chickens to the U.S. Army.
 
His connections to the Whitehouse would help Dittmer win a pardon for his step-father, [[Ray E. Friedman]], who was convicted in the 1950s of fraud in selling chickens to the U.S. Army.
Line 12: Line 26:
 
== Biography ==
 
== Biography ==
  
Dittmer was raised in Sioux City, Iowa.
+
Dittmer was raised in Sioux City, Iowa. by just his mother. His father was barely around during most of his upbringing. During his primary and high school years he overcame poverty, illness, dyslexia and a stutter.<ref>{{cite web|name="WEDDINGS; Sandy Hill, Thomas Dittmer ”|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06EED91231F936A25757C0A9679C8B63 |org=www.nytimes.com|date=Nov. 30, 2007}}</ref>
<ref>{{cite web|name="WEDDINGS; Sandy Hill, Thomas Dittmer ”|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06EED91231F936A25757C0A9679C8B63 |org=www.nytimes.com|date=Nov. 30, 2007}}</ref> Dittmer was raised by just his mother. During his primary and high school years he overcame poverty, illness, dyslexia and a stutter.
+
  
 
Dittmer went on to graduate from the University of Iowa. Dittmer later in life would write a thin biography titled "Talkin’ Big–How an Iowa Farm Boy Beat the Odds to Found and Lead One of the World’s Largest Brokerage Firms."<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/the-dittmers-big-talkin-from-frances-tom/|name=Big Talkin’ from Frances and Tom Dittmer|org=ClassicChicagoMagazine.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
 
Dittmer went on to graduate from the University of Iowa. Dittmer later in life would write a thin biography titled "Talkin’ Big–How an Iowa Farm Boy Beat the Odds to Found and Lead One of the World’s Largest Brokerage Firms."<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/the-dittmers-big-talkin-from-frances-tom/|name=Big Talkin’ from Frances and Tom Dittmer|org=ClassicChicagoMagazine.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
  
 
In his book "Escape to the Futures," Leo Melamed wrote that Dittmer would sell watches on the floor of the IMM to help make "extra cash."<ref>{{cite web|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=R3eMEZxHLBEC&pg=PA189&lpg=PA189&dq=Thomas+Dittmer++Whitehouse+guard&source=bl&ots=pEHdsBYPGV&sig=ACfU3U2PT4o_euBMmWBw66-T04h5iOwInQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjs2OmMw6rqAhWUZM0KHc43DDEQ6AEwD3oECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=Thomas%20Dittmer%20%20Whitehouse%20guard&f=false|name=Leo Melamed:Escape to the Futures|org=Google Books}}E</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/19940409/ISSUE01/100012458/refco-s-reluctant-day-in-the-sun-whitewater-shines-light-on-secretive-firm-ceo|name=REFCO'S RELUCTANT DAY IN THE SUN WHITEWATER SHINES LIGHT ON SECRETIVE FIRM, CEO|org=Crain's Chicago Business|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
 
In his book "Escape to the Futures," Leo Melamed wrote that Dittmer would sell watches on the floor of the IMM to help make "extra cash."<ref>{{cite web|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=R3eMEZxHLBEC&pg=PA189&lpg=PA189&dq=Thomas+Dittmer++Whitehouse+guard&source=bl&ots=pEHdsBYPGV&sig=ACfU3U2PT4o_euBMmWBw66-T04h5iOwInQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjs2OmMw6rqAhWUZM0KHc43DDEQ6AEwD3oECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=Thomas%20Dittmer%20%20Whitehouse%20guard&f=false|name=Leo Melamed:Escape to the Futures|org=Google Books}}E</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/19940409/ISSUE01/100012458/refco-s-reluctant-day-in-the-sun-whitewater-shines-light-on-secretive-firm-ceo|name=REFCO'S RELUCTANT DAY IN THE SUN WHITEWATER SHINES LIGHT ON SECRETIVE FIRM, CEO|org=Crain's Chicago Business|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
 +
 +
Dittmer would divorce his first wife, Francis and his second wife, Sandy Hill. He married Hill in 2001 and in 2007 she filed to dissolve the marriage claiming Dittmer had misrepresented his wealth in a prenuptial agreement.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.morelaw.com/verdicts/case.asp?s=CA&d=52991|name=Sandra Hill v. Thomas Dittmer|org=Morelaw.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref> Dittmer would prevail in the lawuit brought by Hill.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.thurmanarnold.com/family-law-blog/2012/january/court-upholds-prenuptial-agreement-where-wife-al/|name=Court Upholds PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT Where Wife Alleged Husband Falsely Stated Net Worth|org=ThurmanAr.nold.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
 +
 +
He met Frances "Frannie" Ronshausen in Washington, DC where she was a personal secretary to Democratic Texas Senator "Smilin'" Ralph Yarborough. She and Dittmer moved to Chicago and raised their children there. In 1994, the Dittmers would move to New York, but in 1999 they divorced amicably. Frances would pass away in 2014 in a plane crash in which she was the only passenger<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?n=frances-dittmer&pid=169657784|name=FRANCES DITTMER|org=Legacy.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
  
 
==REFCO==
 
==REFCO==
Line 25: Line 42:
 
Refco was one of the most fined firms in the history of the futures industry and in 1979, REFCO was fined by the [[Chicago Mercantile Exchange]] a then record $250,000 fine and Dittmer received a six-month trading suspension.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.trendfollowing.com/whitepaper/SSRN-id1145930.pdf|name=The Due Diligence Defense and the Refco IPO |org=Trendfollwoing.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
 
Refco was one of the most fined firms in the history of the futures industry and in 1979, REFCO was fined by the [[Chicago Mercantile Exchange]] a then record $250,000 fine and Dittmer received a six-month trading suspension.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.trendfollowing.com/whitepaper/SSRN-id1145930.pdf|name=The Due Diligence Defense and the Refco IPO |org=Trendfollwoing.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
  
In 1999, the year Dittmer retired from REFCO, the firm paid a $8 million fine to the CFTC for accusations it helped manipulate customer accounts. In 1999, REFCO also suffered from customer defaults and Dittmer supposedly made a deal with Edwin L. Cox, a Texas businessman who was convicted of bank fraud and pardoned by U.S. President George H. W. Bush, to help restore the business. According to a lawsuit filed and lost by Cox, Dittmer offered Cox 50% of REFCO should the company rebound.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=Z7qTGiF8FCgC&pg=PA578&lpg=PA578&dq=Ray+E.+Friedman+pardon&source=bl&ots=lFfbtin0Hf&sig=ACfU3U1UWnhSwzW0FEdeM-c_nRgjdEntkA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjKraTlyKrqAhVVAZ0JHd2FAIIQ6AEwAHoECAwQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ray%20E.%20Friedman%20pardon&f=false|name=A Financial History of Modern U.S. Corporate Scandals: From Enron to Reform|org=Google Books|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
+
In 1999, the year Dittmer retired from REFCO, the firm paid a $8 million fine to the CFTC for accusations it helped manipulate customer accounts. Dittmer promoted [[Phil Bennett]] from CFO to CEO of Refco and brought in [[Dennis Klenja]], who had been the head of the enforcement division of the CFTC. The moves were seen by some on Wall Street as an attempt to clean up its image.
 +
 
 +
In 1999, REFCO also suffered from customer defaults and Dittmer supposedly made a deal with Edwin L. Cox, a Texas businessman who was convicted of bank fraud and pardoned by U.S. President George H. W. Bush, to help restore the business. According to a lawsuit filed by Cox, Dittmer offered Cox 50% of REFCO should the company rebound.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=Z7qTGiF8FCgC&pg=PA578&lpg=PA578&dq=Ray+E.+Friedman+pardon&source=bl&ots=lFfbtin0Hf&sig=ACfU3U1UWnhSwzW0FEdeM-c_nRgjdEntkA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjKraTlyKrqAhVVAZ0JHd2FAIIQ6AEwAHoECAwQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ray%20E.%20Friedman%20pardon&f=false|name=A Financial History of Modern U.S. Corporate Scandals: From Enron to Reform|org=Google Books|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
  
 
As part of his exit from REFCO, the trade publication Securities Week reported in December of 1999 that Dittmer's separation agreement included a lucrative provision that he would receive a payout should REFCO ever went public or was bought.  
 
As part of his exit from REFCO, the trade publication Securities Week reported in December of 1999 that Dittmer's separation agreement included a lucrative provision that he would receive a payout should REFCO ever went public or was bought.  
  
The dispute occurred when a majority stack in REFCO was sold in 2004 and Dittmer received $85 million. Cox claimed he was owned half, sued and lost.<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB113046518635682157|name=Refco Had 'Life Threatening' Troubles In 1990s as Customers Suffered Losses|org=Wall Street Journal|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
+
The dispute occurred when a majority stack in REFCO was sold in 2004 to Thomas H. Lee Partners and Dittmer received $85 million. Cox, who was then a REFCO board member, claimed he was owned half and sued.<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB113046518635682157|name=Refco Had 'Life Threatening' Troubles In 1990s as Customers Suffered Losses|org=Wall Street Journal|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref> Dittmer settled with Cox for $39 million, however Cox and another director involved would later have to pay it in a settlement to the U.S. government after REFCO went bankrupt in 2005 and it was determined the funds were part of a fraud that caused the company's demise.<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.courthousenews.com/refco-directors-cough-up-39-million|name=Refco Directors Cough Up $39 Million |org=Courthousenews.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
  
Dittmer promoted [[Phil Bennett]] from CFO to CEO of Refco and brought in [[Dennis Klenja]], who had been the head of the enforcement division of the CFTC. The moves were seen by some on Wall Street as an attempt to clean up its image.
+
Dittmer was one of several REFCO insiders who were sued by the Refco Litigation Trust for $400 million. The others sued by Trustee Marc S. Kirschner were [[Phillip R. Bennett]], [[Tone N. Grant]], [[John D. Agoglia]], [[Edwin L. Cox]], [[Sukhmeet "Mickey" Dhillon]], [[Stephen Grady]], [[Eric Lipoff]], [[Santo Maggio]], [[Peter McCarthy]], [[Joseph Murphy]], [[Frank Mutterer]], [[William Sexton]], and [[Robert Trosten]].<ref>{{cite web|url=https://bit.ly/2ZnLQ0u |name=FORMER REFCO BOARD MEMBERS FORFEIT $39 MILLION TO SETTLE FRAUD PROCEEDS CLAIMS|org=U.S. Department of Justice|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
Bennett and Grant would be convicted of crimes related to the fraud and serve time in prison. Bennett was sentenced to 16 years and Grant 10 years.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ny-judge-ex-refco-owner-10-years-fraud-article-1.317614|name=NY judge gives ex-Refco owner 10 years for fraud|org=New York Daily News|date=Juen 30, 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.reuters.com/article/us-refco-bennett/former-refco-ceo-gets-16-years-in-prison-idUSWEN655520080703Z|name=Former Refco CEO gets 16 years in prison|org=Reuters|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref> Grant would die in prison in 2015 after suffering a stroke.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/ct-tone-grant-obituary-met-20150302-story.html|name=Tone Grant, convicted in financial scandal, dies in prison|org=Chicago Tribune|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
 +
 
 +
Dittmer's first wife, Francis Dittmer, helped REFCO acquire an art collection that was later liquidated as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.marketwatch.com/story/refcos-world-class-art-collection-headed-for-auction|name=Refco is forced to part with its art|org=MarketWatch|date=June 330, 3030}}</ref>
  
 
== Other Affiliations ==
 
== Other Affiliations ==
Line 44: Line 67:
 
| style="height:100px; width:100px; text-align:center;" |{{News}}
 
| style="height:100px; width:100px; text-align:center;" |{{News}}
 
|}
 
|}
 +
  
 
[[Category:Futures Hall of Fame Members]]
 
[[Category:Futures Hall of Fame Members]]

Revision as of 19:00, 30 June 2020

Nasdaq Banner 728x90.jpg
Thomas Dittmer

Tom Dittmer is a retired commodities brokerage executive who co-founded REFCO in 1969 with his step-father Ray E. Friedman, for whom the company was named. He retired as chairman of Refco Group in 1999.

Dittmer was a former U.S. Army honor guard at the Whitehouse, serving during the Johnson Administration. He was a lieutenant and part of the U.S. Army's prestigious 3rd Infantry Old Guard and he served as a White House social aide.[1][2]

His connections to the Whitehouse would help Dittmer win a pardon for his step-father, Ray E. Friedman, who was convicted in the 1950s of fraud in selling chickens to the U.S. Army.

Biography

Dittmer was raised in Sioux City, Iowa. by just his mother. His father was barely around during most of his upbringing. During his primary and high school years he overcame poverty, illness, dyslexia and a stutter.[3]

Dittmer went on to graduate from the University of Iowa. Dittmer later in life would write a thin biography titled "Talkin’ Big–How an Iowa Farm Boy Beat the Odds to Found and Lead One of the World’s Largest Brokerage Firms."[4]

In his book "Escape to the Futures," Leo Melamed wrote that Dittmer would sell watches on the floor of the IMM to help make "extra cash."[5][6]

Dittmer would divorce his first wife, Francis and his second wife, Sandy Hill. He married Hill in 2001 and in 2007 she filed to dissolve the marriage claiming Dittmer had misrepresented his wealth in a prenuptial agreement.[7] Dittmer would prevail in the lawuit brought by Hill.[8]

He met Frances "Frannie" Ronshausen in Washington, DC where she was a personal secretary to Democratic Texas Senator "Smilin'" Ralph Yarborough. She and Dittmer moved to Chicago and raised their children there. In 1994, the Dittmers would move to New York, but in 1999 they divorced amicably. Frances would pass away in 2014 in a plane crash in which she was the only passenger[9]

REFCO

Under his leadership, Refco was one of the first U.S. futures firms to build an international presence. Dittmer took an early interest in bringing foreign customers to U.S. markets; when the Chicago Board of Trade launched night trading sessions in 1987 to capture Japanese demand for Treasury futures, he personally directed floor operations to make sure that the trading got off to a good start. In 2006, he was inducted into the Futures Industry Association Futures Hall of Fame.[10]

Refco was one of the most fined firms in the history of the futures industry and in 1979, REFCO was fined by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange a then record $250,000 fine and Dittmer received a six-month trading suspension.[11]

In 1999, the year Dittmer retired from REFCO, the firm paid a $8 million fine to the CFTC for accusations it helped manipulate customer accounts. Dittmer promoted Phil Bennett from CFO to CEO of Refco and brought in Dennis Klenja, who had been the head of the enforcement division of the CFTC. The moves were seen by some on Wall Street as an attempt to clean up its image.

In 1999, REFCO also suffered from customer defaults and Dittmer supposedly made a deal with Edwin L. Cox, a Texas businessman who was convicted of bank fraud and pardoned by U.S. President George H. W. Bush, to help restore the business. According to a lawsuit filed by Cox, Dittmer offered Cox 50% of REFCO should the company rebound.[12]

As part of his exit from REFCO, the trade publication Securities Week reported in December of 1999 that Dittmer's separation agreement included a lucrative provision that he would receive a payout should REFCO ever went public or was bought.

The dispute occurred when a majority stack in REFCO was sold in 2004 to Thomas H. Lee Partners and Dittmer received $85 million. Cox, who was then a REFCO board member, claimed he was owned half and sued.[13] Dittmer settled with Cox for $39 million, however Cox and another director involved would later have to pay it in a settlement to the U.S. government after REFCO went bankrupt in 2005 and it was determined the funds were part of a fraud that caused the company's demise.[14]

Dittmer was one of several REFCO insiders who were sued by the Refco Litigation Trust for $400 million. The others sued by Trustee Marc S. Kirschner were Phillip R. Bennett, Tone N. Grant, John D. Agoglia, Edwin L. Cox, Sukhmeet "Mickey" Dhillon, Stephen Grady, Eric Lipoff, Santo Maggio, Peter McCarthy, Joseph Murphy, Frank Mutterer, William Sexton, and Robert Trosten.[15]

Bennett and Grant would be convicted of crimes related to the fraud and serve time in prison. Bennett was sentenced to 16 years and Grant 10 years.[16][17] Grant would die in prison in 2015 after suffering a stroke.[18]

Dittmer's first wife, Francis Dittmer, helped REFCO acquire an art collection that was later liquidated as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.[19]

Other Affiliations

Dittmer is a benefactor of the arts and education, a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago and Providence-St. Mel’s High School on Chicago’s west side.

Education

University of Iowa graduate

References

  1. SUDDENLY, IT'S CHICAGO. Chicago Tribune.
  2. Thomas Dittmer. Vintro.
  3. "WEDDINGS; Sandy Hill, Thomas Dittmer ”. www.nytimes.com.
  4. Big Talkin’ from Frances and Tom Dittmer. ClassicChicagoMagazine.com.
  5. Leo Melamed:Escape to the Futures. Google Books.E
  6. REFCO'S RELUCTANT DAY IN THE SUN WHITEWATER SHINES LIGHT ON SECRETIVE FIRM, CEO. Crain's Chicago Business.
  7. Sandra Hill v. Thomas Dittmer. Morelaw.com.
  8. Court Upholds PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT Where Wife Alleged Husband Falsely Stated Net Worth. ThurmanAr.nold.com.
  9. FRANCES DITTMER. Legacy.com.
  10. "Thomas H. Dittmer”. www.futuresindustry.org.
  11. The Due Diligence Defense and the Refco IPO. Trendfollwoing.com.
  12. A Financial History of Modern U.S. Corporate Scandals: From Enron to Reform. Google Books.
  13. Refco Had 'Life Threatening' Troubles In 1990s as Customers Suffered Losses. Wall Street Journal.
  14. Refco Directors Cough Up $39 Million. Courthousenews.com.
  15. FORMER REFCO BOARD MEMBERS FORFEIT $39 MILLION TO SETTLE FRAUD PROCEEDS CLAIMS. U.S. Department of Justice.
  16. NY judge gives ex-Refco owner 10 years for fraud. New York Daily News.
  17. Former Refco CEO gets 16 years in prison. Reuters.
  18. Tone Grant, convicted in financial scandal, dies in prison. Chicago Tribune.
  19. Refco is forced to part with its art. MarketWatch.