University Sues Former Investment Officer Thomas Kannam for $3 Million

by Rob Wohl and Ezra Silk, Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor

Wesleyan University has brought a lawsuit against former Vice President of Investments and Chief Investment Officer Thomas Kannam and nearly twenty other defendants, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, civil theft, breach of contract, fraud, statutory forgery, and unjust enrichment, among other charges. Kannam was dismissed from his position at the University on October 13. The University filed its suit in the Middletown Superior Court on November 24, requesting a hearing which could force Kannam to put aside a $3 million pre-judgment remedy that would be paid to the University if it eventually wins its case. There was no public announcement, and Wesleyan’s Director of Media Relations, David Pesci, declined to comment.

According to the University’s pleadings, Kannam violated his contract by devoting most of his energies into personal “entrepreneurial ventures,” which diverted his attention away from his duties at Wesleyan. The University also claims that Kannam improperly exploited his privileged access to Wesleyan’s financial information, some of which was proprietary, for his own benefit, and that he used the University’s funds for his own business and personal expenses.

“We deny all of the allegations in the complaint,” said Stephen J. Fitzgerald, Kannam’s attorney. “If there’s going to be a hearing on the pending application for a pre-judgment remedy, we will at that time put on our defense.”

According to the complaint, Kannam began improperly profiting from his position at Wesleyan in 2001, when he and Ralph Gill, an associate, formed Cross Border Capital Advisors, or CBCA. The University released what it claims are some of Kannam’s email correspondences, sent from both his official email address and a personal account he accessed regularly on his work computer, to support its charges.

“Through my portfolio at Wesleyan, I have a window on some very interesting stock ideas,” Kannam allegedly wrote. “If possible I’d like to cherry-pick the best and capitalize on them. Would it be possible to feed Mike’s [Zaninovich] hedge fund and get paid some incentive on the performance of our ideas? Might be the fastest way to some real dough.”

The University claims that around 2006, Kannam became the owner and Director of Investments for the Belstar Group, where he received his own healthcare plan, pension, and corporate credit card, and continued to take advantage of information about Wesleyan’s investments. Belstar’s Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer reportedly described Kannam as “our critical endowment asset.” The suit also alleges that Kannam took business trips on behalf of Belstar at the University’s expense.

Kannam is also accused of sitting on several corporate boards, including that of his father’s company, Advanced Device Technology Inc., which supplies infrared devices to the United States military, and Vietnam Capital Partners. Wesleyan says that Kannam failed to alert the University President of his involvement in these other boards, which his contract required him to do.

“Another board seat ($=equity)...Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoooooo! They’re adding up,” Kannam wrote in an email to his wife, according to the University.

The University claims that Kannam was aware that his activities represented a conflict of interest, and that he took steps to conceal them. He allegedly created presentations for CBCA under his wife’s name, and, according to the University’s complaint, worked with a partner at Belstar to “draft a letter to the University’s President from an alleged Korean dignitary,” that would conceal his involvement in outside entrepreneurial projects.

“We need to handle this discreetly at Wesleyan since there’s major turnover on our Board now and the new members that are joining take their fiduciary duty seriously in the Sarbanes-Oxley environment,” Kannam allegedly wrote to a CBCA associate in 2005. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act set higher standards for oversight by corporate boards in the wake of the Enron scandal. The suit also argues that Kannam was concerned about the arrival of a new President in 2007, and told his associates that he would have to “lay low.”

When Kannam started working at Wesleyan, his office was located in North College, the main administrative building. The University claims that he lobbied to have the Investment Office moved into its current location at 74 Wyllys Avenue in order in order to conceal his private ventures from his colleagues. The complaint claims that Kannam referred to his office as “The Taj” and used it primarily for his non-Wesleyan business.

The suit alleges that Kannam used a variety of the University’s resources for the benefit of his private ventures. He reportedly offered to have his staff at the Wesleyan Investment Office handle projects for Belstar. In 2007 Kannam allegedly reported that a hedge fund had retained the services of Wesleyan’s Quantitative Analysis Center (QAC), an interdisciplinary data analysis workshop, and that it had agreed to pay a fee of several thousand dollars. This fund was allegedly Belstar, which never paid for the services it received from the QAC. The University claims that Kannam recommended the hiring of several new employees so that he could focus more of his attention on his own ventures. Of one new member of his staff, Kannam reportedly wrote, “I’m so happy. With my extracurricular ventures heating up, he’ll help a lot.”

Finally, the complaint accuses Kannam of fraudulently using University funds for his own expenses on “countless occasions.” The suit alleges that Kannam routinely doctored expense reports to pay for golfing outings, international travel, and even a trip to the 2008 Super Bowl. He allegedly allowed his associates to travel to conferences under the pretense that they were financial advisors to the University. He is also accused of having received “double reimbursement,” when he paid for his expenses using his Wesleyan credit card and then submitted his expenses for cash reimbursement.

The University claims that Kannam’s misconduct was discovered in 2009 and led to his termination, although two days after his departure President Michael Roth sent an all-campus email announcing that Kannam had left to “pursue other opportunities.” The trial has not yet begun, and it remains unclear how the University assembled its case. The Argus will have more updates as new information comes to light.

  • well done

    excellently reported article.

  • Mad


  • M.R.


  • josef

    great reporting and writing here! correction: the father's company is "Advanced Device Technology Inc." (not "Advance"). google it for confirmation.

  • Madder

    The Belstar hedge fund has two offices - NYC and the Cayman Islands... Are his tax filings complete and correct given all we're hearing?

  • Yes, but

    Sounds like Wesleyan was sanctioning those 'extracurricular activities' as a sort of quid pro quo - ie, if his involvement with Belstar resulted in Wesleyan endowment increasing would there be a lawsuit today?

  • García Gutiérrez

    I'm curious as to how the university assembled this case, although I never did like or trust the bastard. Please do keep us posted.

  • Yes, but no

    Yes, but - Excellent point.

    Anyone in the current or former administration who may have sanctioned the actions in the complaint needs to be investigated as well. Regardless of whether times are good or bad, it should not be acceptable to permit double reimbursement for expenses, fraudulent travel, abdication of fiduciary duties, and non-compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

    Additionally, the personal exploitation of Wesleyan-funded proprietary investment research should be a no-no for all. Foreknowledge of significant moves on individual equities would enable plenty of day-trading opportunities.

  • Yes, but

    Sounds like Wesleyan agreed to pay a hedge fund for the services of QAC in 2007. Am I reading this right?

  • Izaak Orlansky

    Wow guys, great scoop. This will be a huge deal.

  • a faithful reader

    Slow down, you guys. None of this is proven. Kannam deserves a fair shake.

  • What comes next?

    Counter suit by KonMan? Criminal charges filed

  • anon

    1. the cayman islands question -- thats totally standard practice for hedge funds, means nothing

    2. met the guy a few times. totalllllllllll sleaze bag.

  • ML

    Let me get some things straight here.
    1) Wesleyan's chief investment officer advises the university on investments, and then takes his own advice. Would it not be more questionable had he NOT had faith in his projections?
    2) Over several years, a man rises to VP while building University assets to their highest level ever -- and then apparently has the audacity to petition to move from the starter office to a larger space.
    3) Kannam, of Indian ancestry, gave this new office a nickname: The Taj. And now aspersions are cast on this nickname that reflects his heritage. Not very politically correct to slur one's background.
    4) The University says that Mr. Kannam withheld the fact that he serves on several Boards -- and yet ZoomInfo, which anyone can google, lists the following from 8/11/09: "Mr. Kannam serves on the boards of the Hill Development Corporation, the Rockfall Foundation, the Middlesex County Community Foundation, Wesleyan's Quantitative Analysis Center, and the Belstar Group."
    5) Has it been proven that Kannam was even compensated by any of these Boards?

    Unsubstantiated allegations, e-mail quotes taken out of context, Wes spokesmen who are silent: all make for one sensationalized "scoop."

    It also paints a rather desperate Wes -- one intent on building a case for a Fall Guy for plummeting investments in the recent recession.

    I look forward to future articles that are more carefully researched and balanced in their presentation.

  • Why

    would a university advertize its own misfeasance in approving incorrect expense reports that it should not have approved by going after the guy in court that has already been fired?

  • alumn

    we have to go after this guy with everything we've got.

  • alum2

    A few facts:

    1.Kannam has been a top decile performer for the school. Even last year, down 25, he was better than Harvard and in line with most like Yale.
    2. It is entirely normal for university employees (profs, money managers, etc.) to have outside interests. My guess is his contract didn't preclude it.
    3. The University obviously cherry picked from a decade of emails. Take 10 years of emails from anyone and you can tell any story you like.

    My take is this: Roth was hired as prez basically to be a fundraiser. Hasn't worked out so well. On top of this, the endowment takes a 25% bath. Ergo, Kannam is an easy scapegoat. Also, the University naming so many defendants is suspicious. It frankly doesn't make sense since this is really a contract dispute between Kannam and the Univ. Smacks of frivolity.

    Let's all remember that you can sue anyone for anything, so how about a little benefit of the doubt for someone who until only a few weeks ago was held in high regard by the community?

    Oh, and I've seen the "Taj." It's just a little house. Obviously, Kannam was being tongue and cheek. Another example of how you can tell any story you want with emails.

  • whattttt

    ML, i dont think a single one of your points makes a shred of sense.

    1. i have no idea what the hell youre asking
    2. uh, yes, it is audacious to ask for your own BUILDING on a fucking college campus
    3. no, HE named in the taj, the argus just reported it. what if he named it xanadu? would that not be free of criticism? is he somehow less of an asshole because he named the office in keeping with his ethnic heritage?
    4. yeah, as of this past august. he was on those boards when bennett was around, and he himself said he had to conceal it. when youre trying to make money through one fund, you dont try it for another. its an inherent conflict of interest. its totally tautological in the industry. you dont know anything.
    5. well, he said "more boards = more $"...and being on a board guarantees you stock!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Kannam and Gill worked at Wood Gundy together

  • blargwatcher

    Kannam's contract DEFINITELY precluded him from having his own private businesses without permission. It's right there in the article.

  • alum2

    Forgot to mention, the financials show that the school was tapping the endowment for around 7% a year for operating expenses - this is the highest I have ever heard of, and that was BEFORE the 25% decline. Between that and the school's inability to raise serious money, Roth must have been feeling enormous pressure. How convenient to have a scapegoat.

    Also, if Kannam really had wanted to enrich himself, he would have directed school money to some of these companies he was involved with. I don't see anywhere that it's even alleged that he did that.

    Lastly, it seems really bizarre that Wesleyan sued Kannam's wife and father. Smacks of bullying. As I read the details, this boils down to a fairly plain vanilla employment contract dispute over expenses and spare time. On the expenses, if there was abuse, by all means, get the money back (but how much could that be? 10,000? 20,000?).

    The list of 20 defendants, including family members, suggests to me that Wesleyan is playing the role of legal bully here. As an alum, I hope there's not an enormous counter suit.

  • blargwatcher

    This has been raised on Wesleying, but why in God's name would Wesleyan need a scapegoat for losing a big chunk of the endowment amidst a global financial crash. Everyone lost money. Our losses were comparable to any other college's. I don't understand what Wesleyan would try to scapegoat Kannam for. And if they were trying to scapegoat him, why would they have concealed the whole suit for more than a month.

    Also, the accusations, if true, are way more serious than you're making them out to be. Breach of contract and fiduciary duty is really serious. And it's understandable that Wesleyan would be angry that they paid a guy to do something he didn't do. They're suing all the other defendants because they knew about Kannam's misconduct but did nothing to stop him.

  • '07 alum

    Great piece, Argus. And now it's hit Business Week and Inside Higher Ed. Yay, Ezra and Rob!

  • alum2

    Two comments to blarg.

    1. Kannam's performance was, over his tenure, near the top of the endowment world. I can understand where a breach of contract would be viewed as serious if it actually affected his work, but it didn't. In fact, until not long ago, Kannam was being wildly praised within the community. There was even a big puff piece in the alumni mag about him not long ago. So what damage did he cause, exactly?

    2. As for the other defendants, how do you know, exactly, that they had knowledge of misconduct? That would assume that they had read Kannam's contract, or even knew of its existence. It is totally normal for university employees everywhere to have outside gigs. Why would one of these defendants assume that Kannam somehow couldn't? And why sue his wife (who writes children's books, as I understand it) and father? C'mon.

    My point is that a lot of people on this page seem to want to rush to judgment when only one side of the story has been told at this point, and that side has some fishiness about it. They hear words like "hedge fund" and they want blood.

    Allegations, once public, live forever. If Wesleyan had purposefully set out to destroy a family's reputation, they couldn't have done a better job. The facts may ultimately not come down on Kannam's side, but the point is we don't actually know any facts yet, only allegations from one side. Take a deep breath.

  • '09 Alum

    Found this story on Bloomberg this morning. Excellently done by the Argus- provides much more detail than the 'berg article. Also, the Wes investment office has reeked of secrecy. My current employment has me calling endowments/foundations, etc. to research current investment plans- it took me 5 months, even leveraging the fact that I am an alum, to get in touch with somebody. Of course, kannam was never there, and other peoples' voicemail boxes were full (those people have since been fired, also)... Hopefully they can get back on track!

    Thanks Argus for the great article!!

  • wesworker

    All Wesleyan employees are required to sign a code of conduct ( Clearly he was aware of this code. Those of us processing payments are subjected to extreme scrutiny of every $10 lunch receipt, yet his personal travel was reimbursed--HOW?! That alone amounts to embezzlement.

  • dj54


    On destroying other people's reputations, you may be on to something about the carelessness of the current wes administration. See this Argus story:

    If it is all true about Kannum, why in the world did it take so long to fire him? I find it hard to believe that Roth knew none of this until October 2009. He probably stuck with Kannum in spite of this, and then when the endowment fell, they decided to move against him to conveniently explain away their financial troubles.

    How pathetic wes has become.

  • blargwatcher

    dj54 - that makes no sense at all. over the summer of 2009, the endowment made a fairly substantial recovery. why on earth would the school stand by kannam throughout a crash and then scapegoat him when things were turning around. i know conspiracy theories are fun, but they should have some measure of internal logic.

  • dj54


    You may be right, but cut out the dismissive tone. As if I am the first person to engage in anonymous speculation in a comment section of a blog?

    All I am saying is that Roth had this guy working for him for 2 years, and the prior administration for 9 more. Kannam will probably fight hard to show that Wesleyan was aware of his activities and implicitly sanctioned them as long as he made them buckets of money. Then, they decided to fire him when the endowment bottomed out in spring 2009. It takes them until the fall to dig up the dirt on him, hire the lawyer, etc., because they are busy dealing with the Justin-Jinich murder and whatever else. (And, who knows, maybe they decide not to fire him while he is actually doing a good job helping the endowment recover.)

    This course of events seems plausible and does not lack internal logic. Sure, it is speculation. I'll give you that.

    No matter what, it will be interesting to watch this and the other cases unfold. Who would have predicted so much litigation involving Wesleyan? Pretty strange. I'll bet Roth will be gone in a couple of years for getting Wesleyan so much bad press. Wesleyan deserves better, and he doesn't seem to make very good decisions on this important stuff.

  • current student

    dj54: You forget that Wesleyan has seen an enormous rise these past few years in the admissions game - applications have been up, and a large part of that is Roth. Surely, Meislahn and others in admissions get most of the credit, but Roth has set a vision for the school that seems to be resonating with high school students. it's possible Roth orchestrated this, but it might have been another administrator. Tell me how Roth is to blame for the bad press?

  • dj54

    Yes, true, I suppose he can take some credit for that. Not sure how much.

  • William Manchester

    The guy double billed expenses, he is a common crook. Even Chris Dodd would not be that stupid as to double bill something. Maybe Wesleyan can make up for the market loses and Kannam's stealing by double billing the state for the environmental clean up at the Long Lane site?

  • So

    What would usually happen in that situation?

    The error discovered and the person given a chance to explain why it was or was not an innocent mistake, and in either case correct the error.

    Why all the blood, is this overkill? What good will come out of it?

  • WM Fan

    WM: Love your books. Too bad you are dead.

    I sure hope Wesleyan has some evidence that Kannam's behavior led to lower market returns on the endowment. If not, and they are suing 20 people for his double billing, even while he did an excellent job managing their endowment, Wesleyan is going to look mighty lame. In that case, they will have just created a big media story about how stupid they were for keeping a sleezeball on the payroll for 11 years and had such lax oversight of him that they couldn't correct his behavior along the way. That is media attention Wesleyan should be wise enough to want to avoid.

    Anyway, great job Argus. Keep asking questions. Maybe you can help Wesleyan win that 3 million!

  • How lame

    to APPROVE an expense report for Super Bowl tickets and then mention that in a lawsuit.

  • Anonymous

    One might argue based on these assertions that Kannam's actions exposed the university to liability in the form of a breach of contract with the financial service providers whose confidential proprietary data he may have been sharing with outside hedge funds who were not licensed to have access to that data.

  • cls99


    The suit doesn't seem to allege any harm to the endowment at all, which makes sense since it is known that the the returns were really good. I also remember the glowing piece in the alumni mag recently. It would be one thing if Kannam had channeled dough to vehicles he profited from, but that's not alleged at all. Not sure where there's justification for damages...

    Something is very weird about all this. Wes has gone nuclear on what really seems like just minor employment contract dispute. Suing 20 parties? That's the kind of thing sleazy class action lawyers do. Was there really no other way to work this out? I sure hope this doesn't totally backfire, because Wes is putting its reputation on the line for a measly $3 million. At a minimum, we are looking foolish in the public eye because if this guy was really so bad, why the heck did we say how wonderful he was for 11 years? I don't think Roth thought this through at all.

  • Norm Daniels

    Wesleyan must have known that he was billing very questionable expenses or they have horrible internal controls. So I guess it's ok to cheat if your investment decisions are making a nice return.

    Does anyone know what the football coach did to get fired?

  • Anonymous

    IF he was cherry picking stocks from hedge funds for his other funds to invest in without doing his own research he was not upholding his fiduciary duty in whatever other roles he may have had. Not a long leap to say that he may not have done the proper amount of work on Wesleyan's investments.

    That is aside from the fact that cherry picking Wesleyan's portfolio for personal financial benefit is unethical and a violation of fiduciary duty.

    Whether he loses the suit or not, he's traded his integrity for financial gain. Good luck to him in the future because he's ruined his career.

  • cls99

    One other stupid question. If they think he was double billing, how would they know? Do they have copies of billing records at private firms? Don't see how they could.

  • Read

    It was even a double billing error, there are just overblowing some expense reports descrepencies that they should have caught themselves.

  • Wesleyan 1928

    High level people in America can be on multiple corporate boards, have multiple "Outside Interests" and have more money than God but heaven help the person making 30K who is not 100 percent devoted to their job. This guy was greedy plain and simple, lets hope he saved or the wife is making some coin. I bet she walks on the crook.

  • ??

    Isn't it strange that Cross Border Capital is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

    In fact, a search of state records shows that there is no Cross Border Capital registered in Connecticut as required by law.

    So where were the proceeds from the hedge fund tips and referrals going?

    This thing is far deeper than what appears on the surface as depicted in the lawsuit.

  • Judge Wapner

    Case dismissed with prejudice in favor of...


  • Bradley Spahn'11


    I'm not really in a position to remark on the rest of your comments, but w.r.t the 7% endowment draw:

    Wesleyan draws from its endowment at a rate of 5.5% of the 12-quarter moving average. Thus, after the endowment lost value, we'll be drawing at a higher rate and in good times we'll be drawing at a lower rate than 5.5% of its then present value.

    As of last may, the university hadn't deviated from the 5.5% rule, nor have I seen any indication that they would do so in the future.

    The 5.5% draw is generally in line with other schools, which generally draw at a rate between 4.5% and 6%.

  • current informed student

    I'd like to correct you slightly, Bradley. alum2 is correct in that, up until VERY recently (the past year or two), Wesleyan was indeed drawing from the endowment at a 7% rate. This is one of the reasons why schools like Bowdoin and Middlebury pulled ahead of Wesleyan in total endowment funds.

    However, Wesleyan is NOT going to draw higher than 5.5% - this is why we have the budget crisis, because Wesleyan is (smartly) refusing to increase the spend rate. This would be the worst time to increase the spend rate, at a time when the endowment is already hurt. While correct in that peer schools generally accept 4.5% as the lower limit, 5.5% is really the upper limit, not 6%.

    The endowment performed quite well under Kannam, but Wesleyan has had two consistent problems in its history. One, it spends too much (see: CFA - spent entirely from endowment funds back in the 1970's when Wes had the highest endowment/student in the country - yes, greater than Harvard). And two, it doesn't add enough gifts to the endowment, instead choosing to dump them into the annual fund.

    However, thankfully, these issues have been corrected. Wesleyan is much better about throwing money around and has changed the policy of putting the annual fund ahead of the endowment. Amherst ($1.3 billion), for example, would have a smaller endowment than ours if not for the great effort they have put in with directing gifts to the endowment. Wesleyan is now following the proper path. Sorry for the ranting.

  • Ralph Gill

    I would appreciate the opportunity to comment on Wesleyan’s risible lawsuit against Thomas Kannam, which has smeared many innocent and honorable parties. I would point out that almost no reporters have sought my comments on this matter before printing the numerous articles that have dragged my name through the mud, with the sole exception of the Dartmouth College student paper – truly vox clamantis in deserto – which I unfortunately learned about too late to comment after the article had already ran.

    I believe Wesleyan’s litigation is entirely frivolous and constitutes an abuse of the legal process. In addition, for reasons described more fully herein, I believe Wesleyan president Michael Roth and general counsel David Winakor may have engaged in such serious misconduct as to potentially incur severe civil and criminal liabilities, and in the case of Winakor, professional disciplinary sanctions, including disbarment. I am sending this email to convey my position, more fully and accurately for the record and would hope to draw your attention to the following points:

    1. The sheer scope and ferocity of Wesleyan’s complaint – over trivialities concerning Mr. Kannam’s expense reports (it should be noted that the university makes does not allege that any endowment funds were improperly invested in any ventures that Mr. Kannam may have been involved with) – is so unusual, that it is not unreasonable to question whether any ulterior motives, personal animosities and/or other pressures on the university and/or persons may lurk behind it. In this latter regard, I would direct your attention to Moody’s rating agency report from 2005 which accompanied Moody’s decision to downgrade Wesleyan’s credit rating from Aa2 to Aa3, which I believe remains downgraded at Aa3, “reflecting weak operating performance and debt service coverage as a result of above average endowment spending for strategic initiatives and recent stagnation of tuition revenue…as well as the University’s need blind admissions policy and significant financial aid.” Lacking the stature, prestige and financial resources of Ivy League universities, or the other “Little Ivies” – Amherst and Williams – it would seem that Wesleyan has to in effect “bribe” students to attend with money it doesn’t have. This is not financially sustainable, and one can speculate whether creating a phony crisis involving the endowment might give persons responsible for fundraising – which Moody’s report says Wesleyan must do at higher levels than its peers – a preemptive excuse for any less than stellar results at bringing in the levels of donations that Moody’s says Wesleyan needs. One might add that these financial pressures have only been heightened by the recent financial crisis. Wesleyan’s financial bind not only produces red ink, but also threatens its ability to attract students and selectivity rankings going forward, placing even greater pressure on persons responsible for fundraising, who may well be tempted to give themselves a “get out of jail free” card by blaming poor fundraising on the “scandal” surrounding Mr. Kannam as they anticipate tough times ahead. Interestingly, and further undermining Wesleyan’s position with respect to its complaint in the matter at hand, Moody’s report further states: “Wesleyan's endowment investments are well diversified among hedge funds (21%), international equity (9%), fixed income (16%), domestic equity (35%) and private equity (17%), as of March 2005. The University achieved an endowment return of 16.6% in FY 2004 and management estimates a return of 13% return for FY 2005. The University does not outsource its investment management function but, rather manages the portfolio internally. The investment function of the University appears to be well-managed with good investment oversight.”

    2. With respect to Cross Border Capital Advisors – which never ever had any investors, any assets, any employees, any revenues, any payroll or any budget, nor was it even incorporated -- Mr. Kannam’s affiliation with it did not take “meaningful time away” from his Wesleyan work. In this regard, during the periods alleged in Wesleyan’s complaint, Mr. Kannam met with me no more than a handful of times each year, either over lunch in Middletown or occasionally while he was in New York, almost always for other engagements. Contrary to the allegations in the Wesleyan suit, he and I did not set up a hedge fund, and he did not undertake any material travel, nor incur any direct or indirect expenses at my request, nor receive any financial or other benefit of any kind, directly or indirectly from me or any entity that I may have been involved with, directly or indirectly, at any time whatsoever.

    3. Furthermore, Mr. Kannam never directed the funds of any institution, whether Wesleyan or any other, to any investment in which I had even the remotest direct or indirect financial interest.

    4. Had any potential “entrepreneurial ventures” between me and Mr. Kannam ever materialized – and none ever did -- he consistently told me that his arrangement with Wesleyan would have allowed him to be involved in an advisory capacity.

    5. Wesleyan’s lawsuit accuses me of causing Mr. Kannam to charge expenses to Wesleyan on my behalf; this is completely false.

    6. Wesleyan’s lawsuit further accuses Mr. Kannam of providing me with proprietary trading ideas that he received in his capacity as CIO. During the entire period covered by the complaint, I have never traded a single share of stock, directly or indirectly, nor have I caused anyone else to trade a single share of stock, for any reason, directly or indirectly. Nor did Mr. Kannam and I ever set up a hedge fund.

    7. Wesleyan’s ridiculous complaint asks sane and reasonable people to believe that Tom jeopardized his job as CIO – by Wesleyan’s own statement, one of the highest paid in the university -- by not only spending most of his time for years working on “entrepreneurial ventures” that generated no revenues and gathered no assets, but also hiring others to do the same – all in exchange for no compensation of any kind, direct or indirect, whatsoever. This defies common sense, is patently absurd, and borders on the deranged.

    8. Wesleyan’s claims include the salaries of other Wesleyan employees – none of whom I have even met or spoken with; none of whom were hired at my request or with my knowledge or consent, and none of whom have any ever produced any work product for me at my request or with knowledge or consent.

    9. Wesleyan’s complaint is based on the sworn affidavit of its general counsel, David Winakor, who has alleged under oath and penalty of perjury that I am somehow affiliated with Belstar, and vice versa; this is utterly false.

    10. The allegations in the suit are based on excerpts from a few emails, devoid of context, taken from more than 140,000 emails in Mr. Kannam’s Wesleyan email file going back to 1998. Wesleyan has not yet given any of the defendants (including Mr. Kannam) complete access to these files, despite having failed to comply with court imposed deadlines to produce these files in full, and until we have such complete access, it is impossible at this time to provide a more complete response to what I believe are Wesleyan’s frivolous charges.

    Based on conversations that I have had with other parties harmed by Wesleyan’s complaint, the current estimates of quantifiable damages measured by loss of investor commitments, business impairment and reputational damages range anywhere between $30mm and $200 million. Given the large number of businesses and reputations smeared in this matter, and the national top business news coverage it has been receiving, the final tally could be even larger, i.e. potentially approximating the size of Wesleyan’s entire endowment. If the proximate cause of such losses is the negligence and reckless actions of certain individuals owing fiduciary duties to the university, and a duty of care in exercising their responsibilities, the university would be entitled to recover such damages from those individuals, either directly or in a derivative action filed on behalf of the university.

    Moody’s report suggested that Wesleyan would need to return to the bond market in 2010. Bond investors, rating agencies (which have been notoriously deficient and conflicted in warning investors of potential financial problems in advance), prospective applicants, alumni and university trustees should carefully weigh the possibly huge impacts of such large contingent liabilities on the university’s solvency and ability to carry out its mission. Possible long-term or even permanent impairment of the university’s capital markets access could follow from its obligation to disclose material pending litigation which may arise in connection with the recovery of such losses. Not only could such events cripple Wesleyan’s ability to raise new debt, further rating downgrades on its existing debt could cause interest coverage charges to explode, leading to defaults under the university’s existing debt covenants.

    Since all of these potentially very real and very catastrophic consequences arise from $10,000 to $20,000 of disputed expenses -- which Mr. Kannam had offered to settle prior to the filing of this absurd lawsuit – members of the Wesleyan community may wish to question the basic competence and judgment of the current university president and general counsel, who would seem to be playing with matches in a house filled with gasoline. In my opinion, it is fair to question whether Michael Roth’s credentials as a film scholar and aesthete are the best qualifications to run university plagued with human resources issues, complex financial problems and lacking the resources adequate to the task of attracting the very best students against formidable competition.

    I have recently become aware of certain alleged facts, which if true, are potentially stunning. It has been alleged that Michael Roth was caught off guard by a 360 degree job performance review by his direct reports during the summer of 2009, only two years into his term as Wesleyan’s new president. It has also been alleged that Michael Roth was very disturbed by the prospect of such an evaluation, and made statements to the effect that had he known that he would be the subject of such a review so early in his term he would not have accepted the job. It is also alleged that when a Wesleyan trustee asked Tom Kannam for his evaluation of Michael Roth as part the foregoing review, Kannam stated that Michael Roth was not performing well on the “real job” he was hired to do, since Roth had apparently proven to be an ineffectual fundraiser. It is further alleged that Roth was very angered by this review. In these circumstances, it is reasonable to ask if this may have provided the motive for Roth to pursue a personal vendetta against Kannam, thereby giving rise to this entire sordid affair. I have not had the opportunity to independently verify these facts, but they obviously merit serious independent investigation and are certainly capable of judicial verification under oath.

    Wesleyan alumni and trustees would be well-advised to press for full public disclosure and accounting for the entirely discretionary, unnecessary and frivolous legal expenses incurred to date at the possible behest of Michael Roth and/or David Winakor in this matter. These sums may already be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, huge amounts for a cash-strapped nonprofit that relies on the goodwill of alumni contributions based on the trust that such funds will be used wisely in support of the university’s mission. If it turns out that these sums were spent in pursuit of a personal vendetta against Mr. Kannam, this may constitute fraud, waste and abuse of charitable funds and a serious abuse of discretion. This could also provide grounds for criminal charges against the university administrators involved, their personal financial liability for the recovery of such funds, and – of course – their immediate dismissal. Furthermore, the university’s administration and trustees owe full disclosure to current Wesleyan bondholders with respect to the potentially huge contingent liabilities that may accrue to the university as a result of the very real damages inflicted on innocent parties by this frivolous litigation, under full penalties of Sarbanes Oxley for material misstatements or omissions.

    No one would or should invest in a movie studio or broadcast network run by the actors themselves – a situation akin to having inmates running an asylum – yet in my opinion, this is analogous to what is happening at Wesleyan. I can imagine a good film about the shame, embarrassment, disrepute and financial meltdown of a once proud university resulting from an artiste’s fit of pique, but I don’t know whether it’s more of a comedy or tragedy.

    Thank you for your attention.

  • Deja Vu All Over Again?

    Seems that a Mr. Ralph Gill of North Haven wrote a very similar open letter in 2001 condemning Quinnipiac University and its President in the New Haven Register, employing the very same type of doomsday financial analysis as referenced in his open letter abovc.

    Fast Forward to 2010: US News & World Report ranks Quinnipiac in the top 10 of northern universities offering a full range of undergraduate and master-level programs. Last year, Quinnipiac ranked 13th. In addition, Quinnipiac ranked second in the northern region in U.S. News' Up-and-Coming Schools category.

    Enough said. Keep up the good work President Roth!

  • Argus Reader

    Defendant Ralph Gill makes a lot of unsupported accusations in his rambling missive. Seems oddly similar in structure and tone to the New Haven Register Letter to the Editor mentioned in a prior post.

    His financial analysis is wholly defective. 2004 data? No time series data? No comparative benchmarks? What's the point?

    If there is any veracity to Defendant Gill's accusations, where's the cross complaint? Where's the request to the judge to throw out the Wesleyan complaint? Where's the complaint to the Connecticut Bar Association? Where's the letter to the Wesleyan Board, signed by all defendants?

  • Brian J. Glenn '91

    @Argus Reader

    I don't think it's fair at all to call Gill's piece rambling. He had a lot to say, and he said it in what I thought was good order.

    Time will show what comes up. You can't really hold this person to time series data in an email to the Argus! You ask where are all the other actions. If Gill is correct, they are waiting for Wesleyan to provide the documents demanded by the court.

    It also begs the question of why no criminal charges have been filed yet against all these people by the state. So, to be fair, we should hold both sides to the same standard.

    It's a far cry from saying an employee cheated a company out of $20k for false expenses to stating that he (and many others) owe the school over $3 million.

  • blargwatcher

    When did everyone forget about violating the terms of the contract and fiduciary duty? The expense reports are just one part of Wes's complaint. It seems like the university is trying to get Kannam's salary back since he supposedly didn't do what his contract said he would.

  • alum2

    If what Gill says is true, Wes could be looking at a really ugly countersuit. What the hell are they thinking? It seems like this could have been handled much better. You don't go nuclear and sue dozens of parties over a simple employment dispute. It's sloppy, and it can bite you in the ass.

  • Argus Reader

    I would point Mr. Glenn to the following:

    1. Research what "honest services" means in a contract
    2. Check out the threshold $ amount for felony grand theft in Connecticut

    Once you have done both of these, you may repost a response. Perhaps your perspective will change.

  • Alum


    gill states no facts. he uses unverified allegations and then weaves a story of armageddon. oldest PR trick in the book. U feel for it.

  • Ron Medley, `73

    Mr. Gill should know better than to come to Wesleyan bearing condescending analogies to the entertainment industry.

    Nowhere in its complaint does Wesleyan allege that endowment funds were "Lost" or stolen (nor was anyone "Kidnapped", tossed off a "Lifeboat", or subjected to "400 Blows" by "12 Angry Men".)

    To put it simply, Mr. Kannam is under "Suspicion" of wiling away "The Hours" as a "Rainmaker" for someone else's "Glory".

    I would also just remind readers that a lawsuit is not a race but, a marathon, man. But, hey, keep those posts coming because, that's entertainment!

  • Argus Reader

    Mr. Medley - while your analysis appears to be spot on, the one lingering issue is why the suit has named defendants beyond Mr. Kannam? Shouldn't these defendants be simply witnesses if the issues are only alleged expense report theft and "wiling" away "The Hours"? There must be more in the complaint than what has been reported, or there is a placeholder for complaint expansion.

  • Ron Medley, `73

    I'm assuming that under Connecticut law, the same is true as in most states, that a business partner is liable for the tortious conduct of any other partner where that conduct is business related.

  • Anonymous

    The other defendants are accomplices (not simply witnesses) who knowingly benefited from their collusion with the man "wearing two hats". Kannam was their "secret weapon" wielding "low overhead" proprietary data, expenses, travel, and availability.

    A Wesleyan onlooker might only be aware of a limited amount of disputed expenses and nebulous "extracurricular ventures", when in fact there was a much larger payoff for Kannam and his fellow defendants. All the "dough" references in Kannam's emails were not about making cookies or pizza, nor were they about earnings for Wes.

  • Argus Reader

    Then it sounds to me that there might have been attachments to university e-mails (incoming and outgoing), as well as private e-mails that went through the University server, that could have included perhaps proposed and executed partnership agreements, proposed contracts, agreements, etc.

    Often when people think of e-mail, they merely think of text messages - like the excerpts released so far via the complaint - but they forget about attachments.

    I am now thinking the "guts" of Wes' case may reside in e-mail attachments. This could explain why there are so many specifically named defendents

    Thanks much Mr. Medley. I think you are on to something.

    Have you been following the Galleon case?

  • alum2


    You assume the other parties were privy to the specifics of TK's contract, or even knew of its existence. Perhaps TK represented to them that he had Wesleyan's consent? There wouldn't be much reason to doubt this, as it is a very normal practice for university employees - including CIOs - to have outside gigs. Swensen does, they all do. And professors.

    That's the truly strange part of this suit - the multiple outside parties. Seems like Wes is trying to weave together some sort of conspiracy theory.

  • johnwesley

    Gil says not one dollar was ever invested from their partnership. Where is the profit either made?

  • alum

    I think Gill is carefully parsing his words on the topic. A legal entity called CBCA didn't do anything wrong, because it didn't formally exist. CBCA was their casual name, but it's not named as a defendant because of its legal non-existence. It's difficult to believe that CBCA was just a social relationship and not a defacto business venture.

  • Wes Watcher

    johnwesley: dollars do not necessarily have to flow through partnerships to obtain a benefit. there are a lot of places they can flow (other entities, individuals, relatives, friends, overseas accounts, swiss bank accounts, promises for future compensation, actual cash, payments of third party debt, etc.), and compensation does not necessarily have to be in the form of cash (gifts, business referrals, future employement, asset exchanges, deeds, titles, barters, etc.). read the blog entry words very, very carefully. there is considerable "wiggle room" .

  • Ron Medley, `73

    alum 2 -

    I have not read Wesleyan's complaint, but, it doesn't sound as if they are alleging conspiracy. Culpability doesn't always require actual knowledge of the tortfeasor's acts. The classic example is the master/agent relationship. A good agent will keep their boss apprised of all their actions. But, the law doesn't require that they do so.

    And, if Wesleyan is not alleging conspiracy, I don't see where Mr. Gill's libel allegations would fit in.

  • Argus Reader

    Medley, you are at a higher paygrade than me. Please translate what you wrote into layman's terms with an example. Thanks.

  • Judge Wapner

    President Roth, Please raise your right hand...

  • Ron Medley, `73

    You own a car. You lend the car to your neighbor. Neighbor goes out and gets trashed, then hits someone else's car. You're liable for the damage to the other car regardless of whether you knew the neighbor was drunk, knew in advance he was going to get drunk or even warned him not to get drunk. The law is full of situations where merely "handing over the keys" -- either actually or metaphorically -- creates a mutual responsibility for bad things that happen in the future. They don't have to be part of a plan or conspiracy.

  • Argus Reader

    Thanks Medley, what's statutory forgery? That is one of the counts. Sounds pretty bad.

  • Outside Observer

    I would wage that the defendant will be able to easily justify all of the expense reports in a satisfactory manner and conjecture that "offered to pay" only when coerced, that in no way should imply that he did anything unreasonable.

  • Common Man

    I guess the esteemed WES Alum see nothing wrong with double billing travel and doing outside work at their day jobs. Rules are for the little people.

  • Ron Medley, `73

    I think that particular phraseology was used simply to differentiate that count from so-called, "common law forgery" which can be be somewhat broader in scope. In general, state statutes will take precedent over common law.

    My extremely superficial web search of Connecticut law suggests that this involves your plain old ordinary, garden variety, forgery: written words falsely issued, completed, or altered in order to deceive, defraud or injure another party; likewise, the possession of such forged instrumentality (See, Conn Gen Statutes, 53a-139). Nothing fancy.

  • Alum-inum

    Outside Observer - that's a real knee slapper. Google "expense claim fraud" and you'll see that it's a criminal offense all by itself, whether or not there is intent or offer to repay afterwards.

  • cls99

    Been trying to follow this, and what I can't understand is Wes's incentive for making this big and messy (as opposed to having settled something quietly - assuming there's culpability on Kannam's side, which we don't know yet...all we know is accusations, and we haven't yet heard from Kannam).

    There can only be two possible reasons: money and/or public relations. On the money side, the suit is only for $3 million. If this is settled, which usually happens, they will collect some fraction of that, let's say $1.5 million, just for laughs. After legal expenses call it a round million.

    Okay, but what of the downside? Will there be countersuits? I don't know anything about these other firms being sued, but I work in the financial industry, and I can tell you that the slightest whiff of bad pr can kill a firm these days, post Madoff. If that's the case, the defendant firms could have very large countersuits for having been dragged into this. I imagine it could easily be multiples of what Wes hopes to collect. And if Wes can't make its case against Kannam stick, they're also looking at a whopper wrongful termination suit, and maybe libel/defamation. Rightly or wrongly, Wes has completely destroyed Kannam's career by taking this public. I imagine he's rather pissed.

    So as I weigh the possible outcomes, it seems clear Wes has way more to lose than gain, financially speaking.

    So what about p.r.? Does anyone actually think this is GOOD publicity for our school? Hey look at us, we have crappy oversight! And we all know there's a big capital campaign coming. What's the tag line for THAT going to be? Give us your money, we'll handle it badly?

    The fact is that Kannam worked at Wes for 11 years. If he really was such a bad guy, they should have figured it out a long time ago. They didn't.

    One last point. If Kannam had taken school money and invested it in entities in which he had an interest, then that would be a really big deal, and I would understand all the fuss. But Wes doesn't allege that he did. This all seems to be about his time (and some expenses), which is a reasonable thing to debate, but didn't Kannam have a really good track record? I certainly remember reading about this in the alumni rag a while back. If his track record was good, then it seems like he was managing his time well enough.

    Wes should get the disputed expenses back, claim victory, and move on, otherwise it's going to hurt fundraising and hurt recruiting.

  • Fact Checker

    CLS99, you make some good points, but consider the following:
    1. The $3 million is a minimum. Its just a starting point.
    2. Madoff and the Galleon conspirators operated for years before getting caught and bilked some really smart people and institutions. Did Wes have any Madoff exposure by the way? CDS/CDO exposure? Anyone know?
    3. Track records are subjective. Did the portfolio contain exotic securities as of 2008? The critical measure is what happened to the endowment in 2008? Did it completely tank or were there sufficient mechanisms in place to mitigate the downside? Endowment performance prior to 2008 is interesting, but only if gains survived the financial meltdown, or were preserved moreso than comparable institutions. That's the only track record that counts.
    4. As someone mentioned, e-mails may contain incriminating attachments, which may explain the statutory forgery charge, among others.
    5. I doubt if Wes would do this without some pretty convincing and overwhelming evidence which demonstrates that Wes was substantially harmed. If it were just expense report fraud, termination and reimbursement would have been sufficient penalites. At a maximum, a civil damages suit against Kannam alone would have sufficed if Kannam refused or was unable to pay up. Obtain a judgment and be done with it.

    We clearly don't have all the pieces to this puzzle yet.

  • cls99

    Fact Checker:

    I would argue that the totality of Kannam's track record is what's important as he's accused of having spent too much time away from Wes for years, not just 2008. But for what it's worth, I think the endowment was down 25% in 2008. This is better than Harvard and in line with Yale, if I'm not mistaken. The stock market was down 43%, just to put it in perspective.

    As far as the university having evidence of harm, I don't think so (other than some expenses, perhaps). If they had it, it would be part of the suit, and it doesn't look like it is.

    And no, $3 million isn't the starting point. That's not how these things work. Generally, you ask for a huge number and get some fraction of it. You don't magically get more than you ask for.

  • Fact Checker

    cls99 Some homework is in order

    "What we're claiming is that the damages, we believe, are in excess of $3 million," said Michael Harrington, one of three lawyers representing Wesleyan."

    Martin Stein, a New York lawyer who represents defendants Belstar and Voyager, said Tuesday that Kannam's contract with Wesleyan did not prevent him from working for someone else.

    "Belstar is proud of its affiliation with Mr. Kannam," Stein said. "We are certain that at the end of the day, both Mr. Kannam and the Belstar entities will be vindicated."

    "Wesleyan has asked a judge to order the defendants to set aside $3 million for future reimbursement should the university prevail, but that figure could be higher once its lawyers receive their requested documents from the defendants, said Harrington, the Wesleyan lawyer."

    Any more questions?

  • Outside Observer

    We have no idea yet why the defendant was double payed on the expense reports, there are a number of possible plausible explanations.

  • Plausible Accounting 101

    Expense Reimbursement Steps

    You prepare your expense report with original receipts

    You submit your signed expense report

    Accounting checks it and approves it

    You get reimbursed.

    You deposit the check.

    You're whole.

    If someone else provides compensation for the same expenses you either
    1. decline the offer, or
    2. accept it and hand it over to Wes. for deposit into the general fund

    Under no circumstances do you use a Wes credit card for personal expenses.

    End of plausible story

  • Ron Medley, `73

    I have a better question. According to Mr. Gill, Cross Border Capital Advisors (CBCA) never had any assets, a budget, any investors, any employees -- wasn't even "incorporated" (see, Paragraph 2 of Gill Post.) Someone want to tell me, how in the world, such an entity could incur any damages?

  • Outside Observer

    Plausible Accounting - I get it.

    So the issue with 'expense reports' was using the wrong credit card (Wesleyan) for some personal expense not billing with the credit card and then filing an expense report on the same item.

  • et al

    What happens if Kannam or any of the other named defendents somehow, and against all possible odds, were to prevail against Wes?

    Is there insurance that covers countersuits or does it come out of the endowment?

    There are dozens of fancy pant law firms filled with hungry lawyers (most of whom had rotten years in 2008 and 2009) capable of litigating virtually anything. Is there any chance Wes become KU?

    Kannam and his family have been publicly crucified. He has nothing to lose in his defense. The cost of litigation defense to Wes is potentially ginormous so I assume that there is sufficient insurance in place.

    The film references in this blog are very amusing. Roth's latest blog indicates his interest in film studies as well. So, perhaps Wes should sell the movie rights now and recoup Kannam's endowment losses, expenses and legal fees. Since the cast and crew of 24 are on hiatus until next season a great film could be made on campus and bring lots of revenue and a ton of positive exposure for the school. (As well as providing a platform to tell the truth in a cost effective and entertaining manner) Keifer Sutherland would make a swell Michael Roth, Freddie Prinze could play the whistleblower, and Cherry Jones fits the bill for any number of current trustees. What character would Mary Lynn Rajskub play? On the show she always seems to uncover the truth at any cost. Only question left is whether the producers would have her play someone from the Taj or the corner office. I guess that would kill the ending.

  • Amazed

    I hope this university has something substantial - Wes is casting a very large net for a breach of contract suit.

  • Wondering

    I wonder if Kannam is going to this year's Super Bowl?

  • 1989

    The attorneys are going.

  • Hat-trick

    Which team will the attorneys root for? Why not both? Wearing two hats is key! Oucheroo!

  • Tiger

    Perhaps they won't go to the Super Bowl. Torrey Pines is the next weekend. Now that would be the "golf outing of the century!"

  • 1989

    Why not both, indeed. In keeping with the spirit of this case, why not both Torrey and the Super Bowl? Billings galore to be had......whoo, whoo!

  • Quatchi

    You are all wrong. The attorney advisors are going to the Olympics in Vancouver which is the capitol of British Columbia. That would make them Cross Border "Capitol" Advisors! Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoooooo!

  • 1989

    Apologies, I forgot to consider the attorneys who will be participating in the multiple counter-suits

  • Oucheroo!!!!!!

    My very most favorite quote from the Hartford Courant article:

    "Belstar is proud of its affiliation with Mr. Kannam,"
    - Martin Stein, a New York lawyer who represents defendants Belstar and Voyager

  • Mezzanine

    Wes -525 1/2

  • Potential Investor

    Not a very user friendly website these days

  • Livin' la Vida Loca

    If you Google "Cross Border Capital Advisors", you find a company with the same name which attended multiple finance and hedge fund multi-day conferences at some of the best resorts and spas in the world. The list is truly impressive (and may not be complete).

    Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel and Spa, Newport, Rhode Island
    Westin Chicago River North, Chicago, IL
    Loews New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA
    Bacara Resort & Spa , Santa Barbara, California
    La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, CA
    Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, CA
    Fairmont Hotel, Monte Carlo, Monaco
    W San Francisco Hotel, San Francisco, CA
    Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, FL

    The meetings were sponsored by Opal Financial Group

  • Another board seat ($=equity)

    What's this? Though a Robert J. Mark is a defendant in the Wes lawsuit, I don't remember this firm being mentioned anywhere? Kannam is on its "advisory board".

  • Korean Dignitary

    I'm a Seoul man!

  • Argus Reader

    According to LinkedIn, a Ralph Gill has established a company called Targa Capital Partners in Toronto, Canada.

  • Cartman Loves Canada

    This is interesting. If this is the same Ralph Gill, he has established a new venture called Targa Capital Partners in Toronto, Canada

  • Chef

    Truly cross border now

  • Protect Thyself

    It would seem to me that Mr. Ralph Gill's commentary above is strictly focused on protecting himself. This case will be interesting once all the defendants start going after each other.

  • hedger

    the whole Belstar deal is interesting, Yun and his attorney Stein are well known for this kind of thing, have a look at NY court filing against Yun-Belstar, by Kenneth Orr, the guy who designed Belstar funds that they got rid of, cheaper than paying him, what a gang

  • USMA

    Yun is also a West Point grad. Somehow "Duty, Honor, Country" became "Greed, Dishonesty, Immorality". Very sad.

  • Reality Check

    I hope Kannam is smart enough to realize that it is only a matter of time until his co-defendants start abandoning him. Based on some of the comments by lawyers and some of the posts above, it has already started.

    Job 1 for each defendant is to protect themselves and minimize reputational and monetary damage. Job 1 does not include falling on the sword for the collective or any other individual defendant.

    The prisoner's dilemma game comes to mind.

  • Anonymous

    That is an intersting point. There are so many defendants and companies listed in the lawsuit. I wonder if any of them knew about each other prior to the lawsuit?

  • Reality Check

    Anonymous 9:32a

    If in fact there was fraud as Wes alleges, do you agree that this is a classic case of prisoners' dilemma game theory? (where jail time is substituted with monetary and reputational damages) see

    I also think your point about wondering if all the defendants knew about each other is excellent. If not, there would be no rational basis for group cooperation, and everyone should be motivated to "defect" (e.g. minimizing their own potential penalties regardless of the effect on others).

    There is also a strong comparison to the Galleon case which is currently in the news. A central figure together with a whole bunch of unrelated folks were indicted for insider trading, and then they started defecting one by one. Obviously the Wes case is not insider trading and it is civil versus the Galleon case which is criminal.

    All of this is predicated on whether Wes' allegations turn out to be true, in whole or in part.

  • William Seelbach

    A full investigation is warranted. There is enough evidence in the form of emails that leaves a flagrant paper trail. Kannam abused his position and stole money from the University that could have been used to improve Wesleyan's education. Instead that money went to a greedy, selfish, criminal. I'm sure Kannam stole over $3.0 million by breaking the law while at Wesleyan. This story makes me ill.

  • Silvia Trocano

    There are a few people posting here - "alum2, etc. who are obviously either Kannam or Ralph Gill or someone else being indicted in this case. The evidence is so obviously against Kannam, that only an idiot or someone guilty would support him. As I understand it, RALPH GILL himself has had a very questionable past including several ARRESTS for crimes in the past. We should not be swayed by people posting defending Kannam because they are likely those being linked to the crime. The evidence is too strong against Kannam.

  • Eliot Spitzer

    Guys/gals, where there is smoke there is fire. My bet is that Kannam and those involved should all be indicted and brought to justice. Good honest alumni and others who donated to the Wesleyan endowment fund have just been ripped off big time. This is intolerable.

  • Overzealous?

    Perhaps a slam dunk victory here can save some face Administration is going to lose in the Dr. Morgan affair. On the other hand, an unconvincing win or 'slap on he wrist' to Mr. Kannam will make he institution lose even more face and respectibility. Seem to be betting he entire farm here.

  • Ralph Gill's Parole Officer

    Reality check, you have scored the winning try here. I am sure that Kannam/Gill were in cohoots together. Now that they have both been exposed for the heinous crimes they committed, it is time for the backstabbing to start. Believe me, Gill will start squawking like a parakeet.

    By the way, did you see this link?


  • Ralph Gill's Parole Officer

    I am incensed that these so-called elite MBAs who worked at investment banks are still trying to rip off hard working people and those honest students who need financial aid for higher education. Gill, Kannam, Madoff, Skilling, Boesky are all cut from the same cloth. Smart-ass, insecure, greedy con men who steal. They all need to go to jail.

  • Elizabeth Harper '88

    Appalling news. I will petition that Kannam and all his cronies like Ralph Gill are thrown in jail. Didn't Ralph Gill go to Yale twice? How did he get in? He is one of the most eloquent crooks I have ever read. Please see his ridiculous post above. Go to hell Mr. Gill! [but give us our millions of dollars you stole first]

  • Bail Out

    They all have different lawyers as you can see. Each lawyer will advise his client on how best to protect themselves. I can guarantee that lawyers have already met separately (and unbeknownst to each other) with Wes Reps to cut a deal, and get themselves removed as defendants. Its the only rational thing for defendants to do. Why go down on the SS Kannam?

  • The Barrister

    This lawsuit by Wesleyan is brilliant. Based on all I have read, including some very insightful posts on this blog, I would have to say that Wes has set up a classic squeeze play on the defendants. You can bet that the Fat Lady will sing well before anyone goes into a deposition in this case.

    There is a good reason that no counter claims have been filed.

  • J. Rhys-Jones '98

    If just one dime was pilfered, that's one dime less in the endowment. I hope Mr. Blumenthal escalates his involvement in this debacle. The only thing worse would be stealing from an orphanage. Peoples lives and futures depend on the endowment. To take advantage of access to charitable funds is abhorrent. I hope Wesleyan does not settle and goes all the way through trial. Its imporant that corruption of this type be exposed and made pubic to insure that it does not happen again.

  • Eliot Ness

    Kannam is as crooked as a question mark. His emails really describe the kind of slimy, dishonest, lying, cheating person he is. I'm sure he does a lot of illegal things other than trying to rip off the Wesleyan endowment fund. What's so ironic is that he is so naive and gets caught sending incrimating emails. What a fool.

  • Your Empty Checking Account

    Who has to cough up the $3 million? Just Kannam or all the defendants collectively? Do they just have to post 10%? Can they pledge assets? What if the don't have the funds? Are they in contempt of court?

  • The Truth

    Hey BAIL-OUT, have you seen Ralph Gill's lawyer? He makes Barnaby Jones look like Barack Obama. I mean Gill's lawyer physically looks like that fat cop who played with Bruce Willis in the movie Diehard I! Really pretty pitiful. I would think he could cough up some chump change to hire someone who actually received a law degree by going to school and not through the junk mail.

  • Angry Wesleyan Student

    What gives here? Kannam rips off our university and shreds our endowment fund by double charging for expenses to do personal things and doing a bit of insider trading and earning a salary but spending his time doing something else? I think for the sake of WESLEYAN's reputation that he is brought to trial and all the evidence and witnesses against him and this Ralph Gill character be summoned to testify. I am incensed, as a Wesleyan student that we tolerate such illegal and unethical practices. How can I walk around after graduating and say "I went to Wesleyan" without people saying, "oh isn't that the place where someone ripped off your endowment fund? What kind of a school is that?" Kannam, Gill and your spouses and whoever might be involved need to be tried and sentenced to the full extent of the law!

  • Kannam's Wallet


  • Bjoern

    Money, money, money
    Must be funny
    In the rich man's world
    Money, money, money
    Always sunny
    In the rich man's world
    All the things I could do
    If I had a little money
    It's a rich man's world

  • Kannam's Wallet

    Strange how Kannam is being accused of stealing so much money. Why, I have been empty for years! The only thing inside of me is: two old condoms, one Viagra pill, three dollars, some pubic hair, a forged check, lice, old dirty tissue, expired or overdrawn credit cards, folded paper with my bookie's name and number as well as phone number of my K's lover.

  • Yo Angry Wesleyan Student

    the lawsuit by your Administration is not claiming that any endowment funds were misappropriated.

    They 'just want the money back' that Kannam was paid since he was working other jobs while at Wesleyan. Do I have that right Elliot Ness or are you now alleging criminal wrongdoing? If that is the case and you are now alleging criminal wrongdoing why didn't you press criminal charges first and then civil?

  • To: Yo Angry Wesleyan Student... From: Angry Wesleyan Student

    Funds used in the endowment or used to manage the endowment, whatever....$3.0 million is a lot of beans to WASTE on an investment in assets. Criminal versus Civil charges - what is the difference? I am just a poor history major and don't have a clue about the law. Heck, I watch Judge Judy and the People's Court to get my legal edification!

  • Anonymous

    So what is the next step? Does Wesleyan have to lodge a formal complaint? What does Kannam have to do besides book a business class prison cell? Once this is all over, Kannam's only job will be shoveling doo-doo from the local outhouse in the neighborhood where he grew up. You know, like the one in the movie SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

  • To: A Faithful Reader

    Kannam deserves a fair shake?! What the hell do you want him to do to prove he is guilty, put a gun up to your face and demand you hand over cash? Why not join us in the real world please.

  • Con Men!

    Kannam and Gill worked at Wood Gundy together

  • Questioner

    Does Wesleyan have a claim on monies that Kannam allegedly earned through outside employment?

  • Two Hats

    'The power of wearing two hats is key -- our secret weapon,'”

  • Whoo

    “Another board seat ($=equity)...Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoooooo! They’re adding up,”

  • Oucheroo!!
  • Good Find

    What an outstanding find about Adelphi.

    Kannam better hope that Attorney General Blumenthal doesn't read this post. $3 million might just be a starting point for damages.

  • Cross Dresser Capital Associates

    I agree. If the Attorney General enters the fray, the full resources of the State of Connecticut will be directed toward prosecuting Mr. Kannam and Mr. Gill. This would be a nightmare for all of the defendants. Ouchernooni!

  • Hats Galore

    Looks like Mr. Gill has been hanging out in higher education for some time, just like Mr. Kannam.

    Gill was formerly the Executive Director of New Haven University's MBA Executive Program. Doesn't look like he lasted very long though. Also, it seems that the University has erased any mention of him on their website. What happened? The only remnant of Mr. Gill's time at UNH is a BusinessWeek and Hartford Courant mention in 2004.

    This means that Mr. Gill was wearing two hats at the same time Mr. Kannam was wearing two hats. I wonder if Mr. Gill and UNH had problems with the Two Hat tap dance too?

  • Four Hats

    Now that is a lot of hats!!! or would it be three hats? One hat is a shared Cross Border's hat. Would that be a Cross Dressing hat? I am confused. Two many hats in the ring. Ole'

  • No Hats

    I guess Kannam is down to no hats now. "Wearing no hats is not key" No more "golf outings of the century. $=lawyer fees. Lotta overhead now!

  • Another Hat Found

    This sounds like Cross Border was a real business serving Canada. Very strange.

    Ralph Gill

    Ralph Gill serves as financial advisor to Gill Advisors. Ralph is the Co-Founder of Cross Border Capital Advisors, a firm providing U.S. asset management services to the Canadian market and specializing in structured alternative assets. Ralph was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, CIBC World Markets and Morgan Stanley. His real estate experience includes experience as a financial analyst of the Resolution Trust Corporation Oversight Board, and work as an Associate in the Real Estate Group at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York.

    Ralph earned his B.A. in economics and M.B.A. from Yale, and his law degree from Oxford. He has held adjunct faculty positions at Yale and Georgetown universities.

    Accessed via Google cache. The original has been recently deleted.

  • The Six Thinking Hats

    'The power of wearing two hats is key -- our secret weapon,'”

    Two Hats, this is an outstanding quote you posted above. Should be used at the beginning of TIME magazines next issue where they place famous quotes for the week. Is Kannam guilty? Your God damn right he is. Yes, in our stupid legal system we must let due dilegence prevail. But come on, give me a break. He is as guilty as Hitler and in his own little way, just as bad. Fry the bastard and let true justice prevail.

  • The Six Thinking Hats

    Kannam and Gill is beginning to sound like a nice name for cell block 13. Either that or the name of two practicing proctologists whose medical practice is to screw people in the ass.

  • The Six Thinking Hats

    REDUX: Kannam and Gill is beginning to sound like a nice name for cell block 13. Either that or the name of two practicing proctologists whose medical practice is to screw people in the ass.

  • The Six Thinking Hats

    NO HATS SAID: "I guess Kannam is down to no hats now. "Wearing no hats is not key" No more "golf outings of the century. $=lawyer fees. Lotta overhead now!"

    Actually Kannam never wore any hats. He has always practiced unprotected sex without hats or coats. I've now seen his picture. Would you trust your 12 year old son or daughter with Thomas Kannam? I think NOT! I'd rather have Jeffrey Dahlmer baby sit for them. Kannam is disgusting.

  • Concerned Student

    Six Thinking Hats your comments are brutal but true. I'd ask you to tone them down, but they reflect how I feel inside too. Unfortunately Kannam is guilty and I do not feel like listening or reading all the bullshit his lawyers and he will say over the ensuing months. I just can't stand liars. He should pay the $3.0 million back and get on with his useless life.

  • Abigail [Wesleyan student]

    I hear Kannam married a cow who also has insecurity problems. Are all his relatives and friends as cowardly, selfish and deceitful as he is?

  • Stuart Ross, Hartford

    This case is worrying. I'm not sure Kannam will be prosecuted. But his emails are very explicit and obvious. Unless you are a Korean who does not understand English, what Kannam writes in his emails puts a bullseye on his back . He is guilty as sin for: DOUBLE BILLING EXPENSES, USING WESLEYAN TIME TO DO PERSONAL INVESTMENTS, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, SERVING ON OUTSIDE BOARDS. It all boils down to the fact the Kannam is an irresponsible, bad employee.

  • The Six Thinking Hats

    Stuart, I could not have put it better. Kannam is a useless piece of shit. He probably ripped off his father and stole from his mother's pocket book. Once slimy bastard, always a slimy bastard. I wonder how in hell his wife married him?

  • Sherlock Holmes

    Trustees and admin should hope funds were Your post below is brilliant, OUTCHEROO

    not criminally misappropriated!

  • Not Guilty, But Innocent

    Kannam, Gill and all defendants are innocent until they sit before a jury. The Constitution affords them these rights.

    Please keep that in mind. There may very well be a quite innocent explanation for all the e-mail quotes and relationships. Perhaps everything was just driven by friendship, with no financial motivation at all.

    And remember, the endowment has performed admirably under Mr. Kannam. We should all be thankful for his good stewardship.

  • The Truth

    NOT GUILTY said: "Kannam, Gill and all defendants are innocent until they sit before a jury. The Constitution affords them these rights. Please keep that in mind. There may very well be a quite innocent explanation for all the e-mail quotes and relationships. Perhaps everything was just driven by friendship, with no financial motivation at all.
    And remember, the endowment has performed admirably under Mr. Kannam. We should all be thankful for his good stewardship."

    Bullshit, Not Guilty, But Innocent... your liberal innocence is at best, worrying.. this is why crimminals get aways scott free. Because the "so called" due process, designed to protect the innocent, actually serves as a loophole for guilty people to get away. Let's be real here. Kannam is guilty. His lawyers will try to weave a total crap story full of excuses. The best thing Kannam can do it admit he is guilty and do the time, man!

  • Johnny Cochrane

    Hahaha, yes, obviously Kannam is guilty. It is as plain as the red dot on his forehead! I mean look at what I did for The Juice! If the glove does not fit, you must acquit! Remember that famous line? Any lawyer worth his salt can make up the most amazing bullshit to spin even the most extreme doubters. That is what we are paid for. Creating fictitious stories so that we can help guilty people get away and then we get paid huge sums or money! I'd like a crack at Kannam's $3.0 million, wouldn't any lawyer??!!

  • Katherine Huston

    Not Guilty But Innocent, your post: "Kannam, Gill and all defendants are innocent until they sit before a jury. The Constitution affords them these rights..." while technically true is the reason our country has become a basket case. Instead of protecting the innocent, it puts innocent lives in danger. Take the terrorists who should have been interrogated. But so-called Constitutional rights and the law prevented obviously guilty people from being prosecuted properly. I am for fairness, yes, but in this case - and I am sure I speak for many of my Wesleyan classmantes (not all I am sure though :-)), there is simply too much evidence against Kannam. I do not want him dancing and laughing all the way to the bank after ripping off my school - Kathy

  • Anonymous

    Terrific post, Kathy. Thanks for speaking your mind.

  • Wesleyan class of '11

    Johnny Cochrane [post] you made me think. Yes, this is what we fear. Guilty people being set free and justice not served.

  • The Six Thinking Hats

    "...Please keep that in mind. There may very well be a quite innocent explanation for all the e-mail quotes and relationships... [posted by Not Guilty, But Innocent]

    HAHAHAHAHA! Get real, Dude! Have you lost the plot????!!!!!

  • Richard '12

    I'm deeply disturbed by this article and the comments. I matriculated here at Wesleyan because I thought I'd receive a great eductation from a high quality institution which hired the best, most honest professionals. Now it seems some individuals have not met this criteria and might get off with a slap on the wrist. I know they have their point of view, but based on all the above comments this blog and the quotes from Mr. Kannam's emails, it seems evident that he is very guilty at violating many of the written and unwritten ethical standards of our school, regardless of what the black and white code of conduct says. I am very disappointed Wesleyan has let this happen.

  • A senior student

    Wesleyan's reputation will suffer badly and I am very uneasy about this in the job market.

  • In other news today..

    The endowment fund just dropped by 20 million based on its current investment positions.

  • Archie Bishop '90

    NOT GUILTY BUT INNOCENT, you must be Kannam or Gill or someone related to either of these sleeze balls. Given the evidence about him in articles from the Argus as well as quotes from his emails, Kannam is as guilty as you are a blubbering idiot. So, if you are Kannam or anyone involved in the scandal, shame on you. If you are just a clueless first year law student, I feel sorry for you. If you are just uninformed, I suggest you read through the Argus articles about the Kannam saga before reacting.

  • Paul Revere

    "The endowment fund just dropped by 20 million based on its current investment positions.????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    Thanks Kannam for all you've done

  • William Winthrop, Avon CT

    Biggest Scandal to Hit Wesleyan. It will tank the school's reputation. People will associate Wesleyan with a place that hires corrupt losers like Thomas Kannam.

    Now we can safely say that we are most high school candidate's second choice for college.


    Ivy Leagues...
    Amherst, Bowdoin...
    Ohio State University

  • Sleuther

    What's the deal with Canada and Kannam and Gill? Is Cross Borders a Canadian firm?

    Ralph Gill denied in his posting that it was nothing other than an idea that never came to fruition. Yet Gill's biography posted above clearly shows that it was an established entity, at least in Canada. It shows that it was involved in very complex financial transactions.

    Are these guys US citizens? It is interesting that this blog seems to have revealed the Canada connection. I wonder if Wes' General Counsel knows this?

    Will the court make them surrender their passports?

    Are they judgment proof if they move to Canada?

  • Royal Mounted Police

    Sounds like Gill and Kannam are trying to escape to Canada before the shit hits the fan.

  • Extradition Man

    Let them come here. I'll get them and send them back to Connecticut to face the truth.

  • Court Action Today

    There was court action today in this case. A defendant showed up and apparently asked the court to rule on a previously filed motion

    02/04/2010 D APPEARANCE
    02/05/2010 CLAIM/RECLAIM

    The only motions that are arguable are Wes' $3 million prejudgment remedy and Wes' disclosure of assets request

    A claim/Reclaim is the method which a litigant requests the Court to consider a motion that has been filed and not ruled upon previously.

    Anyone know what's up?

    Did Kannam show up and ask the court to rule against the $3 million remedy "I got no money homes. I be broke"

    Or is he fighting the asset disclosure request?
    "I have no assets. They're all pledged to my lawyer"

  • Assets have "crossed the border"

    if Kannam gets off with a judgement and no criminal he's home free

  • Who was minding the store

    while prez is wearing film professor hats and huffington post syndicated columnist hats??

  • Whistle While Your Work

    To "Who was minding the store"

    Obviously Prez Roth was minding the store as he uncovered the alleged corruption.

    And kudos to him for creating the right type of environment for a whistleblower to come forth without fear of reprisal.

    Keep up the good work Prez Roth

  • Jai Ho Ouchernooni

    A brand new New York Times article!

    Lots of new stuff. Belstar's lawyer throws Kannam under the bus (if you believe that Kannam was prohibited from outside work).

    Who is Ratan Tata?

  • Just a Slumdog

    From NYT article

    "In India, for instance, Mr. Kannam, who was born in Southeast India, told Wesleyan that he was attending a conference in which the host was a man named Ratan Tata. “Not only was no such conference held,” the lawsuit said, “but Ratan Tata is, in fact, an official adviser to Belstar Group.”

    In perhaps the most egregious example cited in the lawsuit under the heading “fraudulent expenses,” Wesleyan said that Mr. Kannam traveled to Britain with his wife and children in 2006 to interview for a position at Cambridge University.

    “Not only was the trip reimbursed by Cambridge University,” the lawsuit states, “but he fraudulently used his Wesleyan credit card for trip expenses, as well as submitted fraudulent and redundant cash expense reports to Wesleyan for the same trip expenses.”

    The university also accused Mr. Kannam of pressing for more staff and using them to do research for his own activities. “Send me a list of things you’d like done with the hedge fund data so that I can get my guys working on it,” Mr. Kannam wrote to a partner at Belstar Group."

  • b


  • Doubt there was any whistleblower

    If there was, then why wouldn't the person who got tipped off by the "whistelblowr" make any mention of it, that only creates more suspicion in the ranks. It just doesnt make sense. Wouldnt it be better to take credit for discovering activities by self. I think Kanam was just blowing smoke in the face of the Administration and should just be order to repay the expenses.

  • Whistle While You Work

    Its already an established fact that there was a whistleblower

  • Gill's Version

    of the events seem somehow to resonante with more clarity as believable that this office invasion was more a vengeable act of suspicion than a convenient 'whisle blower in Sepember' theory but then again perhaps a some wesleyan or dartmouth English or journalism professor can vouch to the "journalistic integrity" of the above mentioned blog :)

  • Rachel W. current student

    Wesleyan's reputation tarnished big time. I know Kannam is the culprit and our school was just a victim. Or was it? Why do we hire these criminals in the first place. Kannam is like Madoff. Both corrupt and feeding on innocent hard working people. It is just awful.

  • For God, America, Wesleyan
  • The Bottom Line - NYT

    This whole "Kannam is a lying, dishonest, irresponsible, deceitful person" is a tragedy. Obviously his lawyers are going to try and depict him as a decent person who netted Wesleyan's endowment some solid gains. I'm sure they will try to say all the email evidence is simply circumstantial evidence, just like in the O.J. Simpson trial. It is the American legal system that MIGHT allow this scumbag to avoid the worst punishment. Then again, if I see his ugly face, I'll call him out and let everyone know that this is the man who used his position with the Wesleyan Endowment for PERSONAL GAIN rather than to do what he was paid to do in an honest way. Kannam is a crook. a simple deceitful person.

  • Hardcopy

    The NYT Kannam Article is in today's print edition of the NYT - February 6, 2010, on page A14 of the New York edition.

  • Jai Ho Parsing the Words

    "However, a lawyer for Mr. Kannam, Stephen J. Fitzgerald, defended his client, saying, “There’s not a single allegation in Wesleyan’s complaint that a single dollar of endowment money was misappropriated or somehow invested improperly in violation of any conflict of interest.” -NYT, Feb 6, 2010

    Read very carefully. If Kannam invested Wes dough in the funds of his fellow defendants, his lawyer could still give this quote.

    It is notable that his lawyer did not say that Kannam did not invest any University funds in any fund of any defendant involved in this lawsuit. That's what he needed to say.

    And why does the lawyer say "in violation of conflict of interest". There is a reason that he included that phrase. Its really not necessary to say this unless the lawyer is trying to qualify his statement.

    Finally, if Kannam's compensation and travel was paid out of endowment funds (and there is no reason to believe that they were not - its the cost of managing the endowment), then in fact there are allegations that endowment money was misappropriated.

  • The Argus Insider

    Nice observation, Jai Ho. Kannam's lawyer, Stephen Fitzgerald loves to play with words, as all lawyers do, and instead of revealing the truth, they cover it up. I'm sure Kannam used Wes's endowment funds for personal gain. I'm sure he took personal pleasure trips with them, and I'm sure he double booked expenses. I'm sure he gave a lot of money to that slimy fugitive Ralph Gill too. Isn't Ralph some sort of crimminal too? I take it he has gotten in trouble with the law? Two peas in a pod, crimminal Kannam and crimminal Gill.

  • Richard in Recovery

    Got to this blog through NY TImes article and my computer. I was curious about the case, but ended up by being impressed by a lot of smartness showing from you Wesleyan guys. I should have applied there instead of to St. John's.

    Richard, St. John's '1956 (and I'm still alive and well.)

  • AlumIAm

    I too found this link from the NYT article today. All my friends are talking about this article. I've gotten 6 calls today so far.

    The Galleon case which i am following is interesting, but it was just straight fraud through insider info.

    This case is far more interesting. It would make a terrific movie or miniseries or even a cartoon series. You would have locations around the world. You would have folks living the high life in exotic destinations like India, the UK, the Superbowl, Torrey Pines, NYC and more. You'd have the Taj and its secrecy set up right in the middle of blue blood Connecticut. From a wedding in India with gypsies to Springsteen belting it out at the Super Bowl, to Tiger on the 18th at Torrey Pines. Wow! Champagne flowing, First Class air travel with stewardesses offering hot towels just as the aircraft banks over Mumbai's slums. Wow, wow, wow! And a trip to the hallowed halls of Cambridge with a glimpse of Hawking and the mystery of Harry Potter and Sir Isaac Newton. WOW! It just doesn't get any better. Kal Penn would have to star in the movie. Any one from SNL would be terrific.

    And the quotes. The quotes are awesome. They are truly priceless. They are equal to anything out of South Park. A lot of Kannam's quotes are precisely what would come out of Eric Cartman's mouth in South Park. It doesn't get any better.

    I am waiting for the Wall Street Journal to pick this up. It's only a matter of time.

  • i'm afraid

    the school administration 'wants' us all to believe that it and we are the victim, but you know as the expression goes 'it takes two to tango"

  • I wonder

    if Kannam was smart enough (or dumb) to also claim IRS tax deductions for some of his "business trips" that would amount to "triple billing"

  • G-Man

    The IRS question is a potentially ominous one for Kannam.

    Expense fraud is usually a pretty clearcut issue, and this case appears to be rife with instances of fraudulent reimbursement. The statements by the defense lawyers do not seem to dispute this, rather they focus on the health of the endowment and the alleged scapegoating of Kannam by President Roth.

    If there were fraudulent expense claims and reimbursements, there are serious subsequent implications, especially the fact that expense reimbursements do not involve any kind of income tax withholding or reporting. Receiving reimbursements based on illegitimate expense claims would amount to unreported income, likely a case of tax evasion and subject to IRS oversight and penalties. If Kannam went even further and claimed tax deductions for expenses he had been reimbursed for, legit or otherwise, the offense is even more serious.

    Worse yet, if fraudulent expense claims or the ill-gotten reimbursement checks were ever sent via US mail, it may also be a case of mail fraud. A federal offense which often applies in cases like this.

    With news that an investigation by CT AG Blumenthal is pending, I suspect that his federal counterparts will be joining soon. Wesleyan's civil case could easily be eclipsed by both state and federal criminal cases.

    Good luck Mr. Kannam. You will need it.

  • The Big House

    Its a criminal offense, not the walk in the park civil offense that he is currently facing.

  • Oh Canaduh

    How do you measure worker productivity when the workers are out of sight? Mr. Gill has some prescient observations. Can we say "Taj"?

    Blog of Tony Gill
    The Gill Blog
    November, 2005

    "I had a fascinating chat yesterday with our financial advisor, Ralph Gill....

    One of the challenges management often wrestles with is simply if a more decentralized work environment is created, how will such a reconfiguration affect the productivity level of workers? Additionally, how will it be possible to measure worker performance when workers are out of sight? After thinking about this for a while Ralph provided an analysis I’d never previously considered, but one that really hit the mark.

    He said that a corporate world that is the midst of substantial change needn’t look any further than the world of academia for guidance, as its underlying structure has been decentralized since the very beginning. "

    The Gill Blog
    May have to go through Google cache to access

  • Ivory Alpha

    Mr. Gill seems to be orbiting academia but never able to do anything except crash land.

    Its telling that he spoke about the decentralization of academia.

    I wonder if he had anything to do with prompting Mr. Kannam to create the Taj, otherwise known as "Cross Borders World Headquarters"?

  • Endowment Alpha

    Let's see. Mr. Gill states that Cross Border Capital Associates did not exist, but then by his own hand, he writes on that Cross Borders is some big Canadian firm? Who should we believe? The Wesleyan Gill or the Canadian Gill?

  • Redacted
    You have to go to Google Cache to bring up Gill's bio. Seems he was one of their top advisors.

  • Fact Finder

    I came up with some info that this RALPH GILL has a crimminal record for disorderly conduct? What is that all about???

  • Wayne Gretzky

    Seems like Canada is home base for these two masterminds. So, is it India-Canada connection? I'll never take a flight between these two countries without demanding that everyone remove and X-ray their shoes.

  • Live From the Super Bowl

    We missed you this year Tom Kannam. Hopefully we will see you and your posse' next year!

  • Indianapolis Colts Management

    Dear Mr. Kannam,

    While your resume is interesting, we are sorry to let you know, that we do not need a quarterback at this time. Our incumbant seems to be doing a pretty good job right now.

    If, however, a position opens up in the near future, we will not hesitate to give you a call...

    Best regards,

    General Manager, Indianapolis Colts

  • Indianapolis Colts Management

    Dear Mr. Kannam,

    Eureka, we might just have an opening for you!

    After lengthy discussions, our incumbent quarterback has decided to take "early retirement" following this year's Super Bowl.

    While we were quite happy with his performance in 2009, our experience in the Super Bowl indicates that our organization needs to head in a different direction.

    We believe that your experience deceiving the defense, feigning people, lying and cheating will be invaluable as we prepare for the 2010 season.

    What we are looking for is a leader who lies well and who knows how to dupe people with a straight face.

    What is especially important is the ability to "read" the opposition, to be able to double-book expenses and say one thing while doing something else.

    We believe you possess these qualities and skills in abundance, due to your remarkable work decimating the reputation of a fine educational institution of higher learning.

    We hope you consider our offer seriously. It is rare to come across such as seriously defective immoral individual such as yourself, and we would love to have you on our team.

    With you, in addition to play-caller Bernie Madoff, we expect to have a stellar, championship season next year.

    General Manager, Indianapolis Colts

  • M. Mouse

    Thomas Kannam, now that you have won an unprecendented offer from the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, what are you going to do?

    I'm going back to Disney World!!!!

  • Corporate Credit Cards How They Work

    Interesting read on corporate credit cards.

    Looks like employee has legal responsibility for the card not the organization because the types of mistakes that Wesleyan alleges in its lawsuit are common.

  • I'm So Giddy

    We'll set up the first NFL game in Mumbai, India. The place is so f**ked up that no one will be able to keep track of rupees vs. dollars. It'll be the football outing of the century, and Cross Borders will be swimming in the dough. Screw wearing two hats. I just need one turban to make this work.

    I'll call my good friend Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Motors, I told Wesleyan that I went to a conference of his last year. He'll help set up the whole thing.


  • Jumping for Joy

    I'm So Giddy.... sign me up! I have been dying to try the hotdogs and curry special! And think of the hot red pepper french fries and Bollywood half time entertainment! Just think lovely actresses with accidental tit flashing! I am getting fired up. Where can I buy tickets? I tried, but it was a FRAUD link.

  • Hatchet job

    These comments are seriously out of control, and play right into Wesleyan's plan to smear the defendants. The bottom line is that the endowment was properly managed and lost no more than other institutions during the economic downturn. The email fragments that have been released thus far will be shown to be cherry picked and way out of context.

    This lawsuit is just a personal hatchet job by president Roth. The case will almost certainly end with a private settlement.

  • Kannam and Gill are Guilty of Fraud

    Bullshit, Kannam/Gill a.k.a "Hatchet Job". You know perfectly well both of you are guilty as sin. That you post here with pseudonames and act as though the public supports you is such a bush league tactic. Both of you should go to jail for all the verbal diarrhea you spout. Heck if you can't do the time, then you should not have done the crime.

  • Simon Cowell

    Ralph Gill is a loser. Hey guys and girls, look at his post above. What a bunch of bullshit. Just regergetating a bunch of crap. Can't understand half of it. Need to put on those stupid looking British barrister wigs to even figure out what he is saying. Say, I wonder about Kannam's and Gill's past? I wonder what other skeletons we can drag out of the closet that point to the fact that both of them are DISHONEST, LYING, KNIVING, scumbags.

  • Warren B.

    Bloody dreadful mess. Just like with the other corruption cases, someone [e.g. Kannam, Gill] need to be severly punished for their POOR behavior. Using personal time for work, and double billing expenses is incredibly dishonest. I would never have either working for me.

  • Ralph

    Hatchet Job = Blow Job

  • I'm So Giddy

    Hatchet Job,

    You are a total frickin idiot extraordinaire.

    Are you Tom Kannam or Ralph Gill?

  • Max Cady

    I find you guilty! Guilty of betrayin' your fellow man! Guilty of betrayin' your country! Guilty of betrayin your family and friends! Guilty of abrogating your oath to serve Wesleyan! Guilty of sellin' out Wesleyan for a fast buck!

    With the power vested in me by the kingdom of God, I sentence you to the Ninth Circle of Hell! Now you will learn about loss! Loss of dignity! Loss of employment! Loss of assets! Loss of a future!

  • You talkin' to me?

    Max Cady was one of the best characters ever portrayed by Robert DeNiro. He still gives me the creeps!

  • Cousin Eddie

    This whole thing makes me cry

    How dare this scumbag bilk Wesleyan. How dare he joke about it in a mocking fashion.

    Well I tell you Kannam, wearing two hats is in fact key.

    The first hat will be the one you wear to court to hide your face from the press.

    The second hat will say Jiffy Lube on it. Or maybe MacDonald's, or better yet, Waste Management. Or how about Foxwood's (as you clean the piss and shit off the floor of the casino men's room). Foxwood's would be an appropriate employer. Afterall, it would be Indians looking after Indians.

    Get ready dude. You are headed for a double wide and Hamburger Helper.

    Wanna know what life'll be like. Just ask me, Cousin Eddie

  • Clark Griswald

    Mr. Cowell,

    You make a good point. They all got caught this time. What about the times they did not get caught?

    Off to WallyWorld for the Golf Outing of the Century.

  • Kannam's Golf Bag

    Tommy Boy, is there anything to the rumor that we are headed to Guantanomo? This is turning into Harold and Kumar.

    Please Tommy Boy, I want the good life back. Like playing an exclusive club and having you wash my balls outside in the fresh air.. then
    1. The Four Seasons or Ritz
    2. The spas at the Four Seasons are heavenly
    3. Then a five star dinner... ummm... ummmm... good
    4. Then off to a club to dance into the wee hours of the night and pick up chicks left and right. You the man Tommy. Jai Ho Baby!!!
    5. Oooooo Momma... I miss the good old days.

    Live the friggin high life, while others toil. That is what it is all about....

    You want Oucherooo baby, then bend over, Daddy's gonna punish you with his short game putter.

  • Kannam's Garbage Can

    Some days all I see is kitchen waste and Indian cooking scraps (God I hate the stench of curry).

    Other days I see lots and lots of paper. Lots of it is shredded.

    My buddy, Kannam's Shredder, is new in town. Just arrived last November. He has been busier than a two-rupee whore in Mumbai. 'Round the clock, shred, shred, shred. Then he pops into the garage to dump his load on me.

    I feel sorry for Kannam's Golf Bag. He used to see a lot of action and now just sits in the corner with Kannam's Polo mallets, Kannam's cricket bats, Kannam's croquet mallets, and Kannam's badminton racquets.

    I also hear a lot of screaming. I hear the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack playing constantly. I haven't see Kannam's $150,000 Mercedez 600 SEL for days. I miss talking with the v12 engine. God I miss her. I guess she's gone into hiding.

    Please Daddy Kannam, please don't put us on E-bay.

  • Warhol's 15 Minute
  • Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Jr. PhD

    This would be a sordid and sad tale of fraudulent gift. Sahib, I have position of night manager to you hiring now at Middletown Kwik-E-Mart.

    "Get Out and thank you, come again!"

  • JMB '81

    The Wes search committee that eventually identified Roth as a candidate for Wes President was managed by Spencer Stuart Executive Search Consultants.

    The lead consultant was Jennifer Bol out of Spencer Stuart's Boston Office (see link below where she notes her leadership on the Wes Prez search). Working with Ms. Bol is a consultant by the name of Anne M. Coyle - same office, same practice area. It appears that Ms. Coyle works for Ms. Bol.

    There is an Anne M. Coyle in North Haven who appears to own property with a Mr. Ralph Gill. A NYT wedding announcement shows that the two were married, and that in fact Ms. Coyle works for Spencer Stuart in Boston. The resumes in the NYT and at Spencer Stuart match perfectly.

    So Mr. Gill. You trash the Wesleyan President ad nauseaum in your commentary. How ironic it is that your wife is a member of the practice team at Spencer Stuart that identified Mr. Roth and received compensation for the search from Wesleyan. Yet you bite the hand that apparently feeds you.

    Let's hope that Wes does its homework and insures that the search for a new CIO does not include Ms. Coyle, unless Ms. Coyle and Mr. Gill are no longer married (because Ms. Coyle works out of Boston, it is possible that they are separated or no longer married, so let's give Ms. Coyle the benefit of the doubt).

    This web is more tangled than anyone can imagine.

  • Help the investigation

    While a lot of these recent comments are funny and cathartic, they don't really help build a better case against the defendants. It's almost a sure bet that more evidence is lurking in cyberspace. There have been some very interesting discoveries by Argus readers about Kannam and Gill, but not much about the others listed in the complaint. Certainly there is important information that has yet to come to light.

    I'm hopeful that more energies will go into scouring zoominfo, intelius, SEC filings, Edgar, google, bing, and others. Find the companies, activities, and inter-connections associated with the defendants, and no doubt there will be a better case as a result.

    I like a good joke as much as anybody, but I'd most like to see the strongest case possible and justice to be served.

  • taj my hall

    jmb, i thought your post was a joke. my god, its real.

    all kidding aside, i want the screen play rights. this is the sopranos meets gordon gecko, and harold and kumar. throw in a bit of laurel and hardy, the three stooges, 24, the simpsons, and south park, and you have an extraordinarily funny movie worthy of an oscar. Gotta weave in Bollywood too (a "wearing two hats" dance number - I am thinking bollers and beanies with gypsies and the kids from slumdog).

    indian wedding (boller and beanie dance routine here)
    pga golf tournament (cameos by tiger's women and getting beaned by an errant tiger shot)
    vietnam (on the mekong delta scouting out equity investments with former vietcong )
    disneyworld (riding the its a small world ride and unable to get off)
    superbowl (partying with sir charles barkley)
    chairman of tata motors board room (anil kapoor to play ratan tata - followed by a chase scene through mumbai)
    cambridge university (harry potter theme)
    nyc (meeting with Taco Belstar)
    summit meetings in middletown (a wive's club theme)
    the taj (this scene would be wes workers installing a revolving door at the entrance)
    guantanomo bay cuba (this would be a hilarious chase scene with islamic fundamentalists, ending up in castro's bedroom)

    It just doesn't get any better

  • two rupee whore

    no more dissing of two rupee whores. we actually work for a living.

  • Willing to help

    To: Help the investigation

    Would you post the civil complaint in its entirety somewhere. And (2) would you post a list of funds that the Endowment has invested in under Kannam's leadership.

    The only reason that commenters have focused on Kannam and Gill is that there is sufficient information in the press to research these two. Gill's lengthy comment was extremely helpful in opening up a window on Gill.

    There is very little information in the press on the other defendants and linkages to Kannam.

    I have a feeling that Wesleyan endowment funds reside or resided in the funds of some of these other defendants. Nothing that has been quoted so far would preclude this possibility.


  • A day in the life

    HK: I have some eggs. How to you want them cooked dear?
    TK: "Lets poach 'em all"

    HK: Its cold outside, please double cover your head before you go out. You don't want to catch cold.
    TK: OK dear, "Wearing two hats is key"

    TK: What do you say when you stub your toe?
    HK: "Oucheroo"

    HK: Please go to the store an pick up some apples. How will you select them?
    TK: OK, "If possible, I'd like to cherry pick the best"

  • Help the investigation

    Willing to help - wish I had a copy of the complaint, but I believe one must go in person to the Middlesex court clerk to obtain it, and even then it may be in hardcopy form only. Didn't the Argus staff obtain a copy for their story? I wish they would publish it.

    As for some of the other defendants and how they're connected to Kannam and/or Wesleyan, here's a link that looks really interesting. Anyone with some experience in such things want to help dissect it?

    Just search the page for "Kannam". Also try "Wesleyan", and you'll see that Wes was somehow included. Next try "commitment required", and it sure looks like Kannam had to kick in $1M to be a player.

  • Willling to help

    What a find. That's amazing. 2005! I assume the Wes GC has this.

    A partner at Belstar!!!! An individual owner from inception no less, with control as indicated.

    It also lists Wesleyan Investment Office as an affiliate investment advisor. Why? Because Kanam had to use his own registration ID number? Can anyone explain this. Why would he put Wesleyan at risk like this? I assume it was because he had his folks at the Taj providing investment advice to Belstar, and legally had to disclose this. But why? Why not keep things are arms length? Unless of course Wes endowment $ was involved.

    This also explains Johnston and Yun.

    Now the key is to find out if any Wesleyan money was invested in these funds. So far all the quotes, including those from Ralph Gill's comment and all the lawyers, do not rule out this possibility. They were very careful with their words. They were always careful to say that no money was lost. They never said that no money was invested.

    If a single penny was invested by Wes in Belstar, that would take this lawsuit to entirely new levels. Once Blumenthal's office sees this, he'll be on this like nobody's business.

    This also explains why is shut down tighter than a drum

    This is absolutely incredible.

    Clearly EXHIBIT 1

    Now it is clear. Kannam was probably desperate to settle. Wes said fine, give us $3 million. Kannam might be able to give $3 million, but that would probably break him. He should have settled, so he could continue to work in the securities industry. Now he is toast.

    Does anyone know why on earth Gill would write what he did knowing full well that the evidence was overwhelming. A last ditch effort to deflect public attention? Desperation to say the least.

    Finally, this proves that the lawsuit has nothing to do with Roth. This fraud occurred way before Roth was on the scene.

  • June Cleaver

    Beaver is it true? Is the post below true??! I had to rub my eyes, I could not believe it! Seems you and Wally are not so bad after all, when you compare what you do to these two deviants!

    "....So Mr. Gill. You trash the Wesleyan President ad nauseaum in your commentary. How ironic it is that your wife is a member of the practice team at Spencer Stuart that identified Mr. Roth and received compensation for the search from Wesleyan. Yet you bite the hand that apparently feeds you..."

    Let's hope that Wes does its homework and insures that the search for a new. CIO. does not include Ms. Coyle, unless Ms. Coyle and Mr. Gill are no longer married (because Ms. Coyle works out of Boston, it is possible that they are separated or no longer married, so let's give Ms. Coyle the benefit of. the doubt).

  • Willling to help

    If you go to the investment advisor search function and run "Wesleyan" nothing comes up. Yet they are listed as an investment advisor.

  • May cut both ways

    If the arrangement described at between Belstar, Wes, and Kannam was ok'd / sanctioned by the prior Wes administration, then the info could actually help the defense case.

    We can only assume that Wes knows what it's doing.

  • Scrubbing Kannam

    Looks like St James Investments (Defendant Robert J. Mark) has attempted to erase Kannam from their advisory board.

    Now you see Kannam in all his glory

    Now try and find him

    Just can't rely on those webmasters to do a thorough job!!! Oucherooo

    Even if they read this and really erase Kannam, we can always find him via Google cache!!!

  • Common Sense

    To: May Cut Both Ways

    C'mon, be serious. You have to be kidding.

    Wesleyan University Investments is listed as an affiliate no less. If this term has any meaning, it would imply that in some situations, acting as an affiliate, that Wes would have risk. Who the hell would approve that?

    Do you really believe that the Trustees, who I can 100% guarantee were briefed before the suit was filed, would approve the suit without a full vetting of all info by the Wes GC and the Prez?

    They were not born yesterday.

  • Who Cut The Cheese?

    You really farted on your comment Cuts Both Ways.

    Here's is what you would have to believe

    Kannam would go to the Wes Prez and say:
    1. I want to join Belstar with an equity and controlling interest
    2. I want to sign up the Wes endowment as an affiliate
    3. I am doing this because I need more money
    4. I can still run A HALF A BILLION ENDOWMENT while working for another investment company
    5. Don't worry, there are no CONFLICTS

    You would also have to believe that the entire Wesleyan administration and Trustees were all born yesterday OR worshipped at the Kannam Altar.

  • Michael can you do something useful

    like work on your next blog or prepare for your next film class, grade some papers...we all recognize you here. (the way you affectionately call yourself 'Prez' who else does???)

  • 24 Tonight


    You are really a total, utter fool.

    Or are you one of those idiots that buys Mr. Gill's conspiracy theory?

    Or are you one of the defendants who is feeling the heat? Because brother, the heat is on.

    GO "Who Dat?" nation

  • Scandal Follower

    Does anyone know if Wesleyan University Investment Office is a "legal entity"?

    The filing link above states that it is.

    Maybe this is the statutory forgery charge.

  • Bed Wetter

    "WHO CUT THE CHEESE" your ability to cut through the bullshit and see the truth is remarkable.

    It is incredible how Kannam and Gill take anyone who did not go to Oxford Law School as a bumbling idiot.

    Fact is, if Kannam had honestly and openly approached the administration with his "extracurricular" agenda, then they would have DENIED him.

    Forget about all the verbal lingo, or Gill's stupid blog here. Gill is simply trying to RE-DIRECT attention to the president of Wesleyan, instead of Kannam's UNETHICAL, IRRESPONSIBLE behavior.

    For Kannam's part, his silence is deafening in his guilt. Of course the guy knows he DECEIVED Wesleyan. He's like a five year old with his pants soaking in urine telling his mom that he did not wet his pants.

  • Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Jr. PhD

    wetter, i never laughed so hard. i almost wet my pants too.

    this thing is turning into beavis and butthead as tweeners

    thank you and come again

  • Ghandi

    Oh my oh my, could it be true? Two of a billion of our people have gone astray? Do we need to send our shepards out to guide them back to the flock? Such misguided children.

    Thomas is in need of deep psychological therapy or life incarceration. He epitomizes a Slumdoggie Millionaire

  • ThomasKannamlicksballs

    I'm fed up with Kannam and everything he stands for. He and his horseshit emails proves that he acted irresponsibly and ripped off our school.

    Unfortunately with all the monies he stole from Wesleyan, he can live the good life for a long time.

    He also has no guilt so I'm sure he doesn't care squat about what he does.

    I hope he does not have a chance to eat the German Shepard and Collie meet he so craves every Sunday evening when he sits down to a lovely ethnic meal with his playwrite wife.

  • Gorden Gecko, Sing Sing

    Has Wes taken steps to remove our name from that stupid taco Belstar SEC filing?

    There have to be liability issues associated with having our name on that form (otherwise, what's the purpose of the listing? Obviously the SEC wants to know).

    Is it possible that the name cannot be removed because Kannam signed some binding legal document with taco Belstar on behalf of Wes? Contract fraud? Statutory forgery? Is Wes now forced to wear two hats because of Kannam's fraud?

    Are Wes funds invested in any of the taco Belstar investment vehicles (My bet is 100% yes, otherwise why would taco Belstar hire Kannam? Good looks? )

    Does anyone have an answer, evidence or any theories?


    Here is the new SEC Full Text Search website.

    Have fun boys and girls. There is an incredible amount of information.


    This is the warning on the SEC Investment Advisor Registration Form that lists Kannam and Wesleyan (see excellent post above that revealed that the "Investment Office of Wesleyan University" is an affiliate of Belstar)

    If there are any false statements the Department of Justice and the SEC may pursue criminal prosecution.

    "WARNING: Complete this form truthfully. False statements or omissions may result in denial of your application, revocation of your registration, or criminal prosecution. You must keep this form updated by filing periodic amendments."

    Since there have been no updates, it appears that Kannam is still an indirect owner of Belstar.

    I am surprised that Wesleyan has not been removed from the registration.

    Legal Name of Affiliate:


    Primary Business Name of Affiliate:


    Affiliate is (check only one box):
    X Investment Adviser
    Broker - Dealer
    Dual (Investment Adviser and Broker-

    Affiliated Investment Adviser's SEC File Number (if any)

    Affiliate's CRD Number (if any):

  • Kannam Quotes Reprise

    Here is a complete list of quotes. It just can't get any better. I am hoping there will be more. They are Bartlett's worthy! Maybe we can get them into the next edition.

    ‘The power of wearing two hats is key -- our secret weapon,’”

    “Let’s poach it all,”

    “Golf outing of the century” (Torrey Pines)

    “Dough update for CBCA wives: very productive meeting in N.Y. today. Summit in Durham tonight.”

    “Access all sorts of competitive data, information and deal flow, which will keep overhead extremely low,”

    “Through my portfolio at Wesleyan, I have a window on some very interesting stock ideas,”

    “If possible, I’d like to cherry-pick the best and capitalize on them. Would it be possible to set up an arrangement whereby we feed ideas to Mike’s hedge fund and get paid some incentive on the performance of our ideas? Might be the fastest way to make some real dough.”


    “Gave the board member our Korea story.”

    "Belstar is proud of its affiliation with Mr. Kannam,"

    "The Taj"

    “We need to handle this discreetly at Wesleyan since there’s major turnover on our Board now and the new members that are joining take their fiduciary duty seriously in the Sarbanes-Oxley environment,”

    “Send me a list of things you’d like done with the hedge fund data so that I can get my guys working on it,”

    “Another board seat ($=equity)...Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoooooo! They’re adding up,”

    “I’m so happy. With my extracurricular ventures heating up, he’ll help a lot.”

  • Durham Summit

    “Dough update for CBCA wives: very productive meeting in N.Y. today. Summit in Durham tonight.”

    I missed this e-mail quote the first time around.

    So it would appear that the following people attended the Durham summit
    Thomas Kannam (aka Thomas P. Kannam)
    Heather Kannam (aka Heather McCuthhen)
    Ralph Gill (aka Ralph S. Gill)
    Anne M. Coyle (aka Anne C. Gill)

    What's interesting is that this is the first time that Anne Coyle is implicated (by Kannam) in the whole Cross Borders scheme (assuming that what Ralph Gill wrote was correct; that it was just Kannam and Gill involved in Cross Borders, and no one else)

    This raises terrifying issues given that Anne M. Coyle was a member of the same office and practice at Spencer Stuart involved in the Wes President executive search.

    The timing of this "dough update" summit may be extremely relevant.

  • All Together Now

    “I’m so happy. With my extracurricular ventures heating up, he’ll help a lot.” -Kannam

    Reminds me of Maria's solo in West Side Story.
    Sing to the song "I Feel Pretty" from Westside Story

    I feel happy,
    Oh, so happy,
    I feel happy and wealthy and wise!
    And I pity
    Any guy who isn't me tonight.

    I feel charming,
    Oh, so charming
    It's alarming how charming I feel!
    And so happy
    That I hardly can believe I'm real.

    See the wealthy boy in that mirror there:
    Who can that wealthly boy be?
    Such a handsome face,
    Such a handsome suit,
    Such a handsome smile,
    Such a handsome me!

    I feel stunning
    And entrancing,
    Feel like running and dancing for joy,
    For my new Mercedes SL
    Is a pretty wonderful toy!

  • CBCA Wives's Club

    I wonder why Kannam's wife is a defendant and Gill's wife was not?

  • Taj

    Dearest Daddy,

    I miss you daddy. What happened? One day you're here and the next day you have abandoned me.

    You gave birth to me. You are my bio-architectural daddy. Why have you abandoned me?

    I miss all our friends from New York who came by all the time, and whom we bought lunch for a million times. You were so generous daddy.

    I really miss Uncle Ralph and my cousins from the Belstar family. They really put some life into this place with their carrying on.

    I miss the Indian tunes on our Musak and, my favorite, Daddy's Slumdog CD

    I miss the Pot Luck curry lunches with fresh goat milk and glazed sheep testicles.

    I miss listening to your baby talk with mom.. oucheroo.

    I miss your golf clubs in the corner with your favorite "Tiger Red" Nike golf shirt.

    I miss the souveneirs from your disney trip. Your Goofy doll was priceless. Are you the one who wrote "Trustees" on Goofy's shirt daddy?

    Oh, and I really do miss the picture of you dancing like a gypsy-in-heat at that Mumbai wedding. You are Bollywood worthy. Jai ho daddy.

    I miss you so much daddy,

    Your son,

    The Taj

  • What is going on here?

    This is interesting. Kannam spoke at a Financial Conference in San Francisco in May, 2009, about Endowments and Hedge Funds. It was held at the very tony Marc Hopkins Intercontinental on Nob Hill in San Francisco. Also on the program was Elvin Lim, an Asst Prof of Government from Wesleyan. What? Strangely, he was listed under Investor and Industry Experts rather than Academic Speakers (many of whom were Nobel Laureates in Economics). Very odd.

  • Fee Investigator

    12:27 Very, very interesting.

    This brings up another issue. Did Kannam get speaking fees at all of these conferences? He went to quite a few all over creation. If he got speaking fees (which he most assuredly did), was the check made out to Wesleyan, or was it made out to Kannam. If it was made out to Kannam, did he turn the proceeds over to Wesleyan or did he pocket them?

    Futhermore, if he was a speaker, presumably his travel costs were covered (the attendance fee at the SF conference was $5k per head - more than enough to pay honoraria and travel).

    This are is ripe for further investigation. Double billing that goes beyond the India Wedding, Superbowl, Torrey PInes and Disneyworld????? Worth pursuing.

  • Real Mad Alum

    Why isn't this a criminal case god damn it? It certainly meets every hurdle for felony grand theft. Come on Wes, get some balls, go see Blumenthal and get Kannam charged. This is no different than Koslowski and Tyco, albeit a smaller scale (but not by much).

    I read this article and the comments and I am so pissed off. Kannam's ass should have been perp walked across the campus in full view of everyone. Instead he disappears like a thief in the night.

    This MF stole a ton of money through expense fraud, at a minimum. How is that different from going into Wes' checking account and writing yourself checks? It isn't. If an accountant had written himself Wesleyan checks, the poor bastard would be bent over in a prison shower puking his guts out. How is this different? Why is there a double standard?

    This ass clown needs to be hauled into jail and booked. His passport needs to be seized and his assets frozen. This guy is a flight risk. Why? What does he have to look forward to in the US? Nothing.

    He might be able to sneak into India and grab a job, but the ass jockey made the mistake of dropping the name of the largest industrialist in friggin India, Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Motors (and the dumbasses at the NYT, they published his name, but had no idea who he was).

    How f***king stupid can you get? I mean HOW F***CKING STUPID CAN YOU GET?

    Tell me Kannam, how f***king stupid are you?

    Kannam, do the right thing. Man up, pay back every dime you ripped off from Wesleyan, and re-start your life. You will feel better and I can assure you that your colleagues and the plaintiffs will at least feel sorry for you. People tend to forgive those who come clean. Right now they hate you.

    Why are you going to embarass your famly and children by dragging them through a court case that will be all over the papers and TV news? You won't win and you know it. Furthermore you risk having shit revealed in court that might prompt an SEC investigation, not to mention an IRS investigation. Want the Department of Justice with their mitts clamped firmly around your nuts? Think about it.

    The path you are on is a path of personal destruction.

  • I'm Still Short

    How to raise a $3 million prejudgment remedy

    1. Sign over the deed to the house
    2. Sell Belstar stake (oops, they loaned me the money for the stake)
    3. Borrow from Belstar (if I can get them to return calls)
    4. Call Ratan Tata
    5. Go to Vegas and bet the vacation pay on 666
    6. Write a draft letter to the Korean Dignitary
    7. Is that job at Cambridge still open?
    8. Sell rights to "Wearing Two Hats" screenplay
    9. Borrow money from Ralph Gill
    10. Strip house of all appliances
    11. Put everything I own on E-bay
    12. Work two shifts at Taco Bell
    13. See if I can retrieve all my charitable giving over the last 10 years
    14. Rent rooms in house
    15. Get parents to mortgage their house
    16. Sell stake in Cross Borders (What? It has no assets or revenue?)
    17. Buy a monkey and become an organ grinder
    18. Sell Mercedes
    19 Sell Minivan
    20. Cash in IRA and Other Retirement
    21. Call Marc Rich for advice

    Screw it, I'm judgment proof in India. Honey pack up the kids. We are Mumbai bound.

  • OJ SuperMax

    Hey Kannam

    The glove does fit, you are in deep shit

  • South Park Meets Wesleyan

    Butters: Whoa Eric, we are going to get in a lot of trouble

    Cartman: Shut up Butters, these wankers at Wesleyan can barely find their way to work

    Butters: But.. but.. but Eric, they filed a lawsuit against us. My parents are going to be furious

    Cartman: Screw your parents Butters, they don't have shit on us. Now Butters, you wear this hat that says Cross Borders, and I will wear the Wesleyan hat.

    Butters: But Eric, you gave me the hat that'll put me in jail

    Cartman: You gotta take one for he team Butters

    Butters: They are coming to get me Eric

    Cartman: Officers, that is the kid who ripped off the school. His name is Butters.

  • Monkey

    I am not going to work with Tom Kannam and his organ. Find someone else

  • Marc Rich

    Kannam, don't call me. I have my hands full with Roman Polanski and his pardon.

  • Ratan Tata

    Some Korean dignitary has been calling me. What up with that?

  • Cambridge

    Mr. Kannam,

    The job has been filled. It went to a Mr. Ralph Gill. We selected him last November. He arrived yesterday. He had recommendations from a Korean dignitary, Ratan Tata, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Jr. PhD.

    Cambridge Endowment

  • Mae West Endowment

    Hey Tommy, why don't you come up and see me sometime.

  • Legal Eagle

    Action in the Kannam case today.

    One of the defendants filed a motion to dismiss together with a memorandum. Also Kannam filed an affadavit. All three may be related. I hope Argus runs down the courthouse , gets copies and reports.

    02/09/2010 D MOTION TO DISMISS

    02/09/2010 D MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION to Dismiss

    02/09/2010 D AFFIDAVIT of Thomas Kannam

  • Sidewalk Lawyer

    I wonder if it is a motion to dismiss the case?

    It could be a motion against the prejudgment remedy or the request to cough up personal financial statements.

    I have to believe it is the latter. A motion to dismiss the case at this point would be a waste of time given the evidence that has been presented so far in the complaint.

    No matter what it is, I suspect it'll be denied, and Kannam will have to write a check to his lawyer.

  • Freshman questions

    1] will this case affect my law school application if I chose to go in that direction?
    2] will there be any money left in endowment to print my diploma in 2013?

  • Freshman answers

    1. No, why would it? Stuff like this happens all the time. Follow the case closely. It'll be better than any course you take.
    2. Yes, especially now that Kannam is gone. Wes will save a lot of travel money!

  • More Questions

    Since your 'Prez' talks about
    'transparency' -exactly how much funds were raised in Alumni Donations in 2009? 2008?

    (I can give you the equivalent numbers for other institutions...) Thank you.

  • Don't be distracted

    "More Questions" poses a question that's really just a distraction and a diversion. Changing the subject is the real transparent tactic here.

  • Manswers

    Who has these newly filed docs? What do they say exactly? Please post.

  • Traffic Cop


    They are at the courthouse in Middletown. You have to go there and get them copied. Unlike other states, Connecticut's online access is lagging. Its no big deal doing this. All the records are public.

    Go to this site to search cases

  • Hate Douchebags

    More questions,

    Hey numbskull... review the annual giving report document which is sent out EACH AND EVERY FRICKIN YEAR YOU DOUCHEBAG

  • Court Watcher


    Has anyone seen them?

  • taco bell-star


    Would someone tell me why the Wesleyan Investment Office is listed on the Belstar SEC filing??????????????????????????????????

  • Real Name

    Dear "I'm Still Short"

    Love your post, and I find it perfect except for Number 9, which is impossible, since GILL is bankrupt. This man has done so many questionable things, I'm surprised he is not on TV's "Most Wanted."

    I'm sure the Fed wants to talk to him about his INCOME TAX RETURNS and why he has not paid his fair share. Incredible how much a man can LIE about his income so that he AVOIDS PAYING TAXES and THUMBS HIS NOSE at the Federal Government!

  • Rumors

    Okay this might only be a rumor. Heard it from many reliable sources though.

    Apparently, lying, cheating and general dishonesty is only the tip of the iceberg. Get this:

    Kannam loves sodomy and has had sex multiple times with multiple very very young boys. Who can verify? I hear there are a lot of pictures on the Net.

  • Think Again

    All you folks should support our university leaders. They are just as liberal as any of us. They are not the bad guys. We are all on the same team. Unfortantely Kannam played for a different team. The recently revealed SEC filing of Belstar is pretty incontrovertible evidence and its available for anyone to view.

    The Administration has discovered someone who has harmed the institution. They filed a lawsuit. They are not casting their suit as "allegations", they are asserting it as fact. Do you think they would be dumb enough to file a suit with false statements? And from what I have seen, all the incriminating evidence appears to be pretty hard evidence.

  • The last two posts

    were written by the same person.

  • wanna know

    has anyone found out the recent court filings?

  • ML

    Having fun, Wesleyan readers?
    I thought this forum was to comment thoughtfully on the news aspect of the story itself, not to offer oh-so-funny, self-congratulatory jokes that deal in hearsay. This forum besmirches Wesleyan's good name far more than any unsubstantiated wrong-doing by Kannam.

  • Thoughtfully oh-so-funny

    ML - did you read any of Kannam's quotes? they are hilarious. they are incredibly cynical and egotistical and arrogant. as such, they are ripe for humor.

    This is not your run of the mill employee theft. This is a racket that involved many and went on for years. the stupidity of the whole thing was the amateurs thought they would never get caught. they wrote to each other like 14 year olds, degrading the university at every step.

    Wes is not relaying on hearsay. Wes is asserting 1st party evidence written by the defendants' own hands. did you bother to look at the sec filing. its prima facia baby.

    Kannam played for the other team. Which team are you on?

    There have been some good investigative posts. I hope someone involved in the case or Argus picks them up.

    ps. Get off your high horse. but then again, you might be either kannam or gill posting, or even a member of the cross borders wives club that summits in middletown for dough updates

  • What?

    ML, are you high or just incredibly naiive? Let's review the record.

    1. trashed the trustees as bumbling idiots
    2. stole from the quantitative analysis center
    3. prostituted his employees
    4. double billed expenses
    5. had multiple jobs beyond Wes (proven fact)
    6. traded on proprietary Wes data
    7. lied to cover himself (Korean dignitary, Ratan Tata)
    8. traveled the world on wes' dime
    9. put the wes endowment at risk
    10. conned adminsitrators for an offsite office (taj)

    The whole thing is pathetic.

    Keep the humor coming. it helps ease the pain.

  • CBCA Wives Club


    Forecast: -$3,000,000

    Legal Expense: Indeterminable, but substantial

  • Michael you got hustled and you look like a fool

    Twice. First by Kannam. Second time by the lawyers who agreed to work on a contingency what did they have to lose go for the 3 million fast and make a cool mill on the outside chance judge would agree to that.

    Should have just fired him and called it a day.

  • Legal Eagle


    1. Roth was not hustled. He created the environment for the whistleblower to come forward without fear of retribution. This scheme predated Roth by many years. Why are you implicating Roth? What has he done to you. The way I look at it, he is a breath of fresh air in an institution that needed it. He could have swept the Kannam under the rug, but he did the right thing, and sent a clear and loud message to the community. Rip off Wes and suffer the consequences. Furthermore, Kannam's transgressions were so egregious, they deserve public prosecution.

    2. You are a total moron. This type of case is not on contingency. We have a General Counsel fool. Any outside legal assistance would be compensated based on professional work, not on some trial lawyer billing scheme.

    3. It is almost certain that this case will be presented to a jury, not a judge The defendants would never put their fate in the hands of a single judge.

  • Your Bollywood Correspondent

    I heard that the "Thomas Crown Affair" movie is going to be remade as the "Thomas Kannam Affair."

    Its going to be produced by Ratan Tata and a yet to be named Korean dignitary. "Mike's Hedge Fund" is also rumored to be providing financing.

    Mr. Tata is also slated to be the director of the film. He commented, "Wearing two hats is key. People underestimate the power of wearing two hats."

    It is scheduled for release late in 2010 and will be premiered at the Monaco Film festival, followed by special showings at DisneyWorld and the Taj. It is expected that the title song, "Money, Money" will be sung by a reunited ABBA at the 2011 SuperBowl.

    Dr. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Jr. PhD, special consultant to the film commented, "I am so happy. I am proud of my affiliation with the Thomas Kannam Affair. Without the support of Ratan Tata and our Korean dignitary, this comedy could not have been possible. Furthermore, I would like to thank the Cross Borders Wives Club for their help in producing the movie of the century. They helped keep overhead extremely low."

    The original Thomas Crown Affair was shot in NYC. The new Thomas Kannam affair will be shot in multiple locations, including Mumbai and a small New England town.

    The opening scene is rumored to involve the infamous and wacky Cross Border Twins, smoking cigars and drinking cognac at Torrey Pine's "19th Hole". While one of the Twins obsessively cherry-picks cashews out of the nut bowl, the other Twin lights his cigar, burns his finger and blurts out, "Oucherooo".

    The first twin, once he has amassed a mouthful of cashews, exclaims, "“Another cashew (cashews =satisfication)...Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoooooo! These cashews are adding up”. The other Twin, exclaims, "Poach all the cashews!"

  • UPDATE From Your Bollywood Correspondent

    Those Cross Border Twins. They are certainly a wacky duo.

    I just found this pre-production scene which was filmed at the Middletown Superior Court. It features a dance number by one of the Cross Border wives.

  • YET ANOTHER UPDATE From Your Bollywood Correspondent

    Here is another pre-production scene from "The Thomas Kannam Affair". Its the opening day of the trial. The Cross Border Twins are giving opening statements in court. They certainly are a wacky pair! They end up testifying against each other.

  • crack me up

    9:43 that is the funniest thing i have ever seen.

  • Taj Namesake?

    Many of you might think that Kunnam named the "Taj" on Wes' campus after the Taj Mahal. That would be a reasonable Western conclusion.

    Some have been shocked that Kannam nicknamed his office after a sacred Indian mausoleum - one of the Seven Wonders of the World. They would say it is ethnically repugnant and mocks one of the world's great cultures. But these political correctness looney tunes would be wrong (as they are most of the time).

    In fact the Taj was named after the The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, a prestigious luxury five star hotel located in Mumbai. That namesake is more in keeping with Kannam's lifestyle of the rich and famous.

    And who owns it? None other than Ratan Tata, Kannam's hero, Chairman of the Tata Group, and erstwhile "consultant" to Belstar.

    So my bet is that the phony India conference that Kannam falsely claimed was "hosted by Ratan Tata" was strictly a cover story in order to vacation at this hotel or another of Tata's 5 star Taj resorts on the Indian Ocean. Afterall, if the even was "hosted" by Ratan Tata, of course it would be held in one of his resort hotels. Thus, receipts justified (or so he thought).

    How many times did he stay at Taj Resorts on Wes' dime?

  • Spot On

    12:24 You are spot on. Great research. What everyone took for granted, you probed and found something entirely different.

    The Taj Mahal is not Hindi, its Islamic - complete with four minarets.

    Also, the term "Taj" is a Persian word. It actually means the following:

    Muslim's cap: a tall brimless conical cap, often richly decorated, worn by Muslims as a mark of distinction.

    While there certainly are Muslims in India, it is doubtful that Kannam would have named his Investment Office after a Muslim shrine. More likely he named it after the "Taj Hotel" in Mumbai because he aspired to be like Ratan Tata, his idol, and owner of "The Taj".

    Of course "the Taj" could be one of the two hats that everyone said were key!

  • Hunter Gatherer

    not sure Kannam was just vacationing at Taj Resorts. he probably was trolling for business for Belstar on Wes' dime.

  • Roth got hustled

    Roth signed and approved all the funny expense reports until someone brought the descrepancy to his attention. No?

  • lol

    I seriously doubt signing and approving expense reports is part of Roth's job description


    That YouTube link is funnier than hell. Two bumbling idiots.


    a recently discovered and very rare video of Tom Kannam's interview for his first endowment internship position

  • Lots of Court Activity Today

    Lots of filings at the court today ARGUS. They are attempting to seal all documents and shut down the whole case from public view (until trial)

    107.00 02/09/2010 D MOTION TO DISMISS Yes
    to Dismiss No
    109.00 02/09/2010 D AFFIDAVIT
    of Thomas Kannam No
    110.00 02/11/2010 D MOTION TO SEAL DOCUMENT Yes
    112.00 02/11/2010 D MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER No
    114.00 02/11/2010 D AFFIDAVIT
    115.00 02/11/2010 D AFFIDAVIT
    116.00 02/11/2010 D AFFIDAVIT

  • Go To Court

    I hope Wes opposes the motion to seal and the motion to limit discovery (protective order).

    What is Kannam trying to hide?

    This sends a loud and clear signal that Kannam either expects or wants to settle. Don't to it Wes. Stick to your guns.

    It also appears that the other defendants are getting a free ride off of Kannam's attorney - OR - more likely its every defendant for themselves. In this case, Kannam's screwed.

    Does anyone know if Kannam lies in his affidavit, is that considered perjury? If that is the case, then the criminal statutes kick in.

  • Salem Witch Hunt

    I say we throw Kannam and Roth in a pit armed with sharp sticks and let them settle it that way.

  • Kal Penn

    I'm available to star in the "Thomas Kannam Affair", but only if it is a comedy. I can either be one of the many, may Indians characters in this looney caper, or I can reprise my Taj Mahal character from Van Wilder.

    ps. Any White Castles in Middletown?

  • Pink Taco Bell-Star

    National Lampoon would be the best producer the Thomas Kannam Affair.

  • Wes-Tube

    This is recently discovered security video of Thomas Kannam being sacked by President Roth. Its the actual firing!

  • Fact to Consider

    Thomas Kannam what a record. Corruption, sodomy, child abuse, fraud, beastility, wife beater. Wow

  • Fact to Consider

    This is the best forum ever. Have to admit. The news is too dreadful. This column is a combination of a serious crime, an asshole (Kannam), some good humor, dirty humor, true sexual humor. All probably true, by the way. If I were Kannam, I'd high tail it to Haiti, rent shack and stay out of the limelight for a while.

  • Aesop Fables

    To the person who posted above: Haiti is too good a place for that Asswipe Kannam and his grinder monkey Ralph Gill. Two rotten peas in a penis, or is it a pod?

  • Libel

    Kannam should sue the Wesleyan Argus for libel by permitting these hideous comments. What is the source of information pertaining to "child abuse"?? If that were true to be found during the ransacking of his computer, don't you think he would be in jail by now??


  • @11:58 LIBEL

    I can't say whether Kannam has been libeled in these comments, but if he were to sue the Argus over them his suit would fail.

    Quoting from an article in the New York Law Journal: "Websites and providers of interactive services are generally immune from third-party liability under §230 of the Communications Decency Act for the mere posting of user-generated content."

    It's actually an interesting article that outlines the hurdles Kannam would have to jump through if, rather than trying in vain to seek damages against the Argus, he instead aimed to force the Argus and the various ISPs to reveal the identities of the anonymous commenters so he could sue THEM for libel.

  • 1:31

    Comment moderation? That's new. Looks like the Argus wants to be extra careful from now on anyway.

  • Anonymous

    1:31 why do you say that?

  • Rupert Murdoch

    I've enjoyed the comments here on Argus. Don't they call it freedom of the press?

  • Retired Organ Grinder Monkey

    Will Cross Borders turn into Double Cross Borders? Seems the Kannam's are going it alone in their court filings. Not a hint of the other defendants.

    Are the other defendants simply leveraging Kannam's legal desperation in order to keep their legal fees at a minimum.

    Or are they simply waiting to see what Kannam has to say under oath in order to tailor their own defense (best bet). No sense in being out front and stumbling.

  • Kal Penn

    I have agreed to play Kannam in the remake of "The Thomas Kannam Affair". I have also convinced the organ grinder monkey to come out of retirement and play "the monkey on my back". Grinder will be on my back throughout all scenes until sentencing.

  • Prejudgement remedy of 3 million

    Did Wesleyan win or lose this one?

  • Wes Supporter. But...

    President Roth and the trustees nailed it. But.... where are the Argus reporters and updates? This story MUST stay front page. Am I alone on this?

  • Keep the pressure on

    ARGUS You are dragging your feet on Kannam

  • 1:31 here

    @6:28 am - I say that because my original comment about the Argus being protected from a libel suit by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was "placed in a moderation queue" and never showed up. Odd.

  • Libel

    Strange that Wesleyan Argus doesn't publish any kind of 'legal information' or 'privacy policy' on its website. Say for example that Kannam wanted to subpeona all the posts in this thread from server backups at Wesleyan to obtain the IP address of every inflammatory post against him. Since there is no privacy policy stated, he could theoretically do that. All that information is likely to be stored in server backups. Would be kind of funny if the very same Administrators who ransacked his computer were determined to be guilty of posting inflammatory and libelous comments!

  • Libel?

    I think both Mr. Kannam and Mr. Gill are the ones who have to worry about libelous statements. Case in point. Mr. Gill's posting, if in fact it was Mr. Gill, is replete with what this casual observer would deem as libelous statements, not to mention disclosure of confidential HR information. Where did he get this confidential HR information?

  • Update

    What is going on with the Kannam case?

  • Ron Medley, `73

    @8PM: What are Wesleyan's rights regarding the prejudgment remedy if Kannam drags his feet in obeying the court's order? Some jurisdictions permit the plaintiff to attach the defendant's assets as a form of security.

  • Rush to Prejudgment

    I would assume that you are right. He has to pledge hard assets. I would assume he would not have to liquidate them. I also suspect that he would have to overcollaterlized his pledge to account for any dimunition of asset value as a result of market fluctuations, unless he posts "hard cash", which is doubtful. Perhaps a binding letter of credit that is 100% guaranteed by some entity would suffice.

    I would expect that a failure to post a prejudgment remedy would result in another court case. Not sure how it works. They would have to go to court and seek to have the judgment enforced. Would take time and be messy. It certainly would not look good in his fraud case. In fact, it might sink his case.

  • Ron Medley, `73

    Wouldn't it involve a contempt of court citation as well?

  • Rush to Prejudgment

    You are right. It would. Isn't that criminal? Seems folks are always getting thrown in the slammer for contempt of court. Maybe there are different types of contempt of court (but I think not).

  • Rush to Prejudgment

    Medley. I am still stuck on the fact that any money that was allegedly used frauduently is in fact endowment money. Why am I wrong? It seems that the $3 million must have come out of the endowment. Right?

  • Ron Medley, `73

    You have to assume by the time the university's operating funds reach the level of payroll that it's all just cash. But, I could be wrong. I suppose, the whole endowment angle, and the fact that the defendant held the title of CIO, is one reason Mr. Blumenthal is following the case.

  • Rush to Prejudgment

    If it is a separate entity, as it appears to be based on that SEC Belstar filing (one of the best finds on the comment section), I have to believe that annual tax forms and other non-profit filings, would state income and expenses, which would include salaries, etc.

  • Great News!

    Sounds like judge did order the 3million prejudgement and Kannam has not complied is that correct?

  • Burnt Toast

    The fact of the matter is that Wesleyan must have some pretty damning and compelling evidence against Kannam to ask for a prejudgment remedy. And they must have some amount of fear that the defendant would hide assets perhaps.

    And remember, this is a civil case. The standard for "guilt" is a lot lower than a criminal case. It ain't "beyond a reasonable doubt". It is the preponderous of evidence, and boy, have we seen evidence prepondering all over the place.

    I am afraid that Thomas "The Taj" Kannam is toast.

    Over and out, Tom.

  • The Gill's Of Canada

    Does anyone know who Tony Gill is? He heads up a large Canadian Real Estate Firm called Gill Advisors, Inc.

    It appears that Ralph Gill has a position there currently (I guess he is wearing more than one hat, and he's definitely Cross Border).

    It also appears that Ralph Gill's father works there as "Ajit Gill" also appears on a wedding announcement for Ralph Singh Gill and Anne Maureen Coyle, as well as on Tony Gill's website.

    Seems like the Gill business is "all in the family".

    Another interesting fact is that Ralph Gill has been lifted from Tony Gill's main website which is I guess he missed lifting Ralph Gill from his blogspot.

    There definitely is some sort of big time Indian connection here.

  • Comment Due Diligence

    I just hope the Wes lawyers have read these comments. There appear to be some good investigative leads herein.

    I was stunned to see Wes' name actually listed as an affiliate on the Belstar financial advisor SEC form.

    If I were another investment house working with the Wes Endowment staff, I would wonder what the heck was going on with Wes and Belstar.

    I would also wonder if any analysis which I provided to Wes was then shipped to a firm with which Wes was an affiliate. Afterall, the SEc Filing says that Wes is an affiliate, and an affiliate does in fact share research.

    I think there is a whole other level of potential fraud here. And that is sharing of confidential research reports and/or "Deal flow" with people other than the intended recipients.

    Is it possible that any of this information was considered insider information and unlawfully shared?

  • Kudos

    Kannam earns coveted spot in the New York Times' "Inside the Times"

    New York


    Wesleyan University has filed a lawsuit accusing Thomas Kannam, whom it hired in 1998 to oversee its endowment, of violating his contract by spending most of his time on outside business ventures.

  • NDA Man

    Wesleyan lawyers should do the following-

    1. Obtain signed copies of all non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) signed by Kannam or his designees during his tenure at Wesleyan. These are typically required when one party provides proprietary or confidential information to another, disclosure of which would harm the providing party.

    2. Investigate whether this confidential information was provided to a third party(ies) in violation of the NDA, or used in a manner that violated the terms of the NDA

    Examples of proprietary or confidential information include prospective "deals" (deal flow), non-public information, confidential research or analysis, or information that, if disclosed, could harm the party who relied on the receiving party's commitment to nondisclosure.

  • Watching and Waiting

    Good catch NDA Man. I sure hope they are reviewing these NDAs. But, I bet they already have and have a ton a breaches they have discovered. And I bet that makes up a large part of the case. Whoooo Whooooo Oucheroo

  • Bin Laden Found

    Why not sue the kids involed too??

    I understand that while the man was on business attending some financial conferences he bought his kids along and they went to Disneyland.

  • ReTort

    Can't sue children. Can only sue parents or guardians.

    I also do not recall that the Disney Trip was associated with any financial conference, although this might be one of those meetings where Ratan Tata was the host. Probably at "Its a Small World", or maybe at the Indian In/Out Burgers at EPCOT

  • Anonymous

    Was the Disney trip a misuse of company credit card or was a fraudulent expense report filed

  • ReTort

    Anonymous: You question is a good one. The way I undertand it there were fraudulent expenses claimed. It is unclear whether it was via a credit card or a reimburseable expense report.

  • Anonymous

    Corportate credit cards have the employee liability built in. No lawsuit necessary to recover funds for this action, perhaps justified in termination.

  • Anon

    Wasn't Kannam, representing Wes, speaking at that financial conference held at Disney? Also on Wes business, he had been sent to the Super Bowl and that golf outing to talk up investments by alumni.

  • ReTort

    Kannam's duty was to manage the endowment, not raise funds. He wasn't even an Alum, so raising funds would be out of the question.

    The SEC form for Belstar, however, indicated that Kannam's duty was to apparently raise funds.

    If you meet someone with deep pockets, do you pitch Wes or Belstar? Talk about a conflict.

    No one sends anyone to the Super Bowl to raise funds.

    Financial conferences are never held at Disney. These are Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton or Peninsula events.

  • Anon

    BTW, before anyone accuses me of being Kannam or Gill, I am neither. I am, however, former faculty who merely wants the record to be set straight. This Argus blog of Kannam-bashing -- by many supposedly different contributors who have surprisingly the same writing style and syntax -- presents but one side of the picture. By all means, keep us up to date on the legal proceedings, especially since Kannam has said nothing to date. But sticking to the facts will give your musings far more credence than snide and libelous jokes about sodomy and condoms.

  • Grammarian


    BTW,what record did you set straight? You merely admonished those who wrote trash. So you really are not setting the record straight, you are only scolding the bad apples.

    anyone wiht half a brain who reads these comments can sort through the junk versus the facts versus the allegations.

    I only trust the information that is sourced with a url.

  • neurolinguistic writing patterns

    -blunt one or two sentence declarations with few words more than 2 syllables.

    -Difficulty in employing expressive vocabulary that ever venture beyond the " low lying fruit" of the English language

    -tongue in cheek easily digestible soundbites
    'Talk about a conflict'

    -when '?'' gets angry, the rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling tend to fly out the window as ze goes into "stream of conscious mode"

    'Retort', 'Grammarian','NDA Man' and 'What?' to name a few are the same individual.'

  • anon

    Haven't you all figured out yet that when it comes to MB's writing, content is just a vehicle for style? Contrarianism makes for far more interesting prose - that's all there is to it.

    Put aside content - he never bothers coming to a point, anyway - and you'll find his letters quite enjoyable.

    "Nor was the school’s First Lady of Pornography taking it lying down. " - brilliant!

    "Whoever it is, let’s give the diffident devil his due and say that, as lipstick labels go, the porny old porker’s would sell like hotcakes, if not for the far-from-furtive, unkosher smell." - catch the alliteration?

    "gauzy layers of Jargonese" have already been mentioned, but dayum!

  • anon

    it appears that someone failed to earn tenure

  • updatge

    alot of people are checking this blog for updates. is the 22nd of february the next big event?

  • Anon

    I did receive tenure, albeit, not at Wesleyan. Moving on to greener pastures, and certainly an institution with a better 'fit' for me, I finally found my calling. Best wishes to all the students at Wesleyan.

  • Anonymous

    Another current lawsuit involves someone who did not receive tenure and is currently suing Wesleyan University

  • Ariana


    Search on keyword "kannam".

    I am now thinking that some of the commenters on this page are writers from various web periodicals. This might explain the "sound bite" writing style that "anon" observed.

  • eldrick

    hey kannam, why don't you do a press conference like tiger woods? get it all off of your chest.

  • Anonymous

    I hope Kannam does a press conference when he is ACQUITTED of all charges. Looks like Administration has made a strong case for terminating him, possibly. Since no criminal or misappropriation alleged, why drag all this into the court system. Expense reports are a fuzzy area and the fact that Administration APPROVED all these charges when it had every option to not approve them does not make their case look too good. There are remedies for misuse of credit cards that are built in without having to involve the legal system. The fact he had outside work is possible grounds for termination. Thats it.

  • anon

    1:10 all good points but i would disagree with your points on expense reports. you can submit fraudulent reports that appear valid and get approval. madoff did the same thing with his monthly financial statements to investors. certainly they could have just fired kannam and not filed a suit. the fact that the suit lists an incredible number of defendants says to me that there is way more here than meets the eye.

  • Sweating it out

    Monday is a big day in this case. Conference at the courthouse! 2pm sharp!

  • Anonymous

    anon- how could anyone have made a bunch of money from whatever time period until September of 09?? Even if arrangments were made - most people were losing $$ during this time period. i dont think you can company american express cards misuse with bernard madoff!

  • Anonymous

    its like comparing a traffic ticket to a major collision.

  • Anon

    a slap on the wrist would not suffice once the e-mail came to light.

  • anon

    kannan needs to face the music. ironically, he composed the music via those e-mails

  • Anonymous

    Does Wesleyan regularly monitor all its employee's computer and email activity?

  • anon

    1:06 Probably not. The task would be too massive and expensive. You would need an army of monitors. Most people are honest.

  • student

    Some of the comments on this page disgust me. Kannam has not been proven guilty of anything, and the Wesleyan newspaper obviously only puts forth one side of the story. I cannot fathom why some of you are willing to stoop so low as to make racist comments and suggest sodomy. You do not know this man. You do not know the full story. The comments you make are an embarrassment to you and to your school.

  • anon

    1:21 What is the full story? I am not sure I have seen any racist remarks. What race? Asian? What remarks were made against Asians?

  • to 1:21

    so we're supposed to presume this man is innocent when our college sues him for millions of dollars? yeah, okay. sounds perfectly reasonable to the average elite liberal arts college student.

  • Anonymous

    1:21 you're only hearing the Administration spin machine side of the story. If you read, the NYT article, their case sounds like a crock

    Personally, I am suspicious of the way the personal information in Kannams email and computer was obtained and violation of employees rights.

    Yes employees do have some rights in this area

    The 'whistleblower' explanation just sounds too convenient for the university. A whistleblower is "protected" so there is no way to verify the veracity of that claim or if the Administration was going through Kannam's email for some time in veangeful attempt to dig up dirt (which he obviously succeeded) in order to look up whatever statements he made in email vis a vis "360 reviews"

  • Anonymous

    1:21 you're only hearing the Administration spin machine side of the story. If you read, the NYT article, their case sounds like a crock

  • Anonymous

    Is it always legal for employees emails to be monitored and contents circulated in pretrial publicity?

    To me, this 'whistleblower' explanation just sounds too convenient for the university. Since a whistleblower is "protected" so there is no way to verify the veracity of that claim or if the Administration was going through Kannam's email for some time in veangeful attempt to dig up dirt (which he obviously succeeded) in order to look up whatever statements he made in email vis a vis "360 reviews"

  • doubtful

    look through a decade of emails and you can tell any story you want.

  • student

    Making jokes about "two rupee whores" and slumdog millionaire soundtracks because of Kannam's India heritage is irrelevant. Making these generalizations based on heritage is racist.

  • anon

    Slumdog millionaire was about muslim Indian kids in Mumbai. It is success and love story.

    If I understand your comment correctly, you must be implying that Kannam has a muslim indian heritage? How do you know that? You do not. He attends church in Middletown.

    You look at the world through a pair of liberal 'western eyes'. It is this type of blindness that paved the way to believe that victory in Iraq would be swift and that the US would be welcomed with open arms.

    Furthermore, it is Kannam, according to Wesleyan, who introduced the 'indian heritage' theme as you call it. He is the one who mocked it according to Wes.

    Racist, I think not. Stereotype, most definitely.

    The Taj
    Indian Wedding
    Ratan Tata

  • stupid is as stupid does

    4:16 kannam was sloppy in his use of email. he should have used a personal blackberry or iphone for his personal communications. he was lazy, thought everyone else was stupid, and guess what? he got caught. there has never been and never will be an expectation of privacy for work email where the employer provides the employe a computer, an e-mail address, and a communications linke - and pays for it.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. so I guess the moral of the story is go ahead and use a blackberrry in case some vengeful coworker wants a piece of you.

    But as the New York Times states:
    "Mr. Kannam, then 33, became Wesleyan’s first in-house investment strategist. In a glowing 2006 profile in the alumni magazine, Mr. Kannam was praised for meeting the goal set by the university’s president: putting Wesleyan’s return on its endowment in the top 5 of the 20 highest-rated liberal arts colleges in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey."

    Did you expect him to NOT have a network of financial associates that he corresponded with? Its not like he was selling auto parts out of the Taj. And maybe just maybe some of his network contacts HELPED Wesleyan's endowment become what it was in 2006.

    You say he is he supposed to spend 8 hours of his working day like a monk cloistered in a monestary and that would have had a better net effect on the endowment??

  • anon

    7:54 Most of what you say is correct, with one big exception. He allegedly got greedy and crossed the line. Too bad for him.

    ps. most people have personal phones and private phones in corporate america. Mix the two and you are asking for trouble

  • student

    5:12, most of your points make no semblance of sense.

    I know Kannam is not Muslim and never thought that he was; neither did the people who posted those comments. They posted them because of Kannam's Indian heritage. I think it is irrelevant and disrespectful to bring his Indian heritage (regardless of religion) into discussion.

    Comments include:

    "You are Bollywood worthy. Jai ho daddy."

    "I miss the Indian tunes on our Musak and, my favorite, Daddy's Slumdog CD

    I miss the Pot Luck curry lunches with fresh goat milk and glazed sheep testicles."

    -both from "the taj"

    "Foxwood's would be an appropriate employer. Afterall, it would be Indians looking after Indians. "
    -about Kannam's future career

    These are just a couple...Wesleyan is such a good school, but writing things like these makes it look like a home for ignorant students who lack respect of other cultures. Your words are just as bad as Kannam's alleged actions, except the latter have not even been proven true.

  • you are my destiny

    student-it is kannam who mocked heritage. turn on television - simpsons southpark bbc's goodness gracious me (incredibly funny) all kal penn characters (van wilder's rise of taj is best -taj mahal badalandabad). ok for media but not ok for wes student?

  • 7:41

    Wesleyan enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a liberal, politically correct institution. And so, no, it is not "ok for wes student" to mock another's heritage.

  • Anonymous

    What a waste of time and endowment funds on the legal time and expense, testimony etc to pursue for some jaywalking misdemeanors.

  • beware

    looks like the defendants are posting comments now

  • whore pc committee

    The following are disallowed from now on

    -2 euro whore
    -2 lira whore
    -2 bit whore
    -2 yen whore
    -2 peso whore
    -2 franc whore
    -2 rubel whore
    -2 yuan whore
    -2 pence whore
    -2 penny whore
    -2 rupee whore

    a whore monetary designation identifies national heritage and creates disrespect. heritage neutral monetary designations must be used from now on.

    relative worth based on prevailing exchange rates further erodes certain national heritages

    thank you for your attention to this important matter

  • wrong thread

    learn all about whores in wes's new "intellectually stimulating" class on porn

  • heritage neutral society

    source: heritage neutral monetary equivalents for whore pricing

    barrels of oil
    tons of wheat
    gallons of gasoline
    number of apples

    for example, that person is a two gallon whore or that person is a two apple whore

  • I can see why

    Kannam had to maintain a network of contacts outside this university setting. The current mix would drive anyone INSANE (maybe a judge or potential middletown jury reading this thread will agree)

  • moonlighting

    1:52 what you say is incredibly naiive and irrelevant.

    the same could be said of the university president or any other high ranking official. even the sports director.

    the true test. would there be a conflict if roth held outside jobs? you bet there would be.

  • Two words

    Cheney Halliburton.

  • wes pc?

    741 if wesleyan is merely a politically correct institution, why are we here? to simply get indoctrinated in political correctness would be a complete waste of time and money.

  • wes pc?

    152 your post makes no sense beyond the first sentence

  • Alum/long time investment pro with knowledge

    Let's clear the air...notwithstanding the "mixed messages" from the writer of the recent NYT piece there are two issues - one major and one less so: (a) while many employment contracts for CIO's in the business allow for outside "advisory" relationships, few if any allow for specific economic interests (read partner/ownership rights) in any entity while you are acting in a fiduciary capacity role at an institution such as a foundation/endowment/museum - IT IS A BASIC, INHERENT CONFLICT OF INTEREST (e.g. read e-mail comments about cherry picking ideas for incentive comp!) . Therefore regardless of our university's investment over the time period - which was acceptable but could have been enhanced given better alternative manager selection - IT IS A FUNDAMENTAL BREACH OF CONTRACT TO DO WHAT HE DID (apparently twice - '01,'06), nobody looked the other way because it clearly was not fully disclosed!!!!!!!! (b) padding expense accounts, extended trips for other purposes, etc. all smacks of a sense of entitlement that is egregious - he was making close to $500,000 a year as a "manager of managers" for what at best is a mid sized college endowment while using other unversity resources to "do his bidding/work"! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE ALUMNI AND BLOGGERS TOGETHER AND LET'S FULLY SUPPORT OUR OUTSTANDING (AND RELATIVELY NEW PRESIDENT WHO DID NOT HIRE KANNAM!) IN HIS QUEST TO DO THE RIGHT THING, PUT THIS UNSEEMLY CHAPTER BEHIND US AND GET ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF EDUCATING BRIGHT STUDENTS AND PUTTING WESLEYAN BACK ON TOP!!!!!!!!

  • You have my support

    Bravo 7:51, Well composed and spot on.

    I wish some of these kids would wake up rather than go into an 'anti' administration reflex mode. It makes them look foolish, out of touch, and not so bright.

    This ain't South Africa, Iraq, or Vietnam. Its an allegation of self-dealing and self-enriching fraud by an individual entrusted with helping secure the future of Wes.

  • !!!! And

    from my perspective seems desparate.

  • Anonymous
  • Alum Fan


  • Alum/long time investment pro with knowledge

    BTW, the "apologists" like alum2, dj54 and cls99 are dead wrong! Michael Roth, our outstanding president for the past several years, is doing the correct and ethical thing: he did not hire Tom Kannam and when it was unearthed this past spring/summer the depths of his specific breach of fiduciary responsibilities, outrageous conflict of interest and outright fraud he took appropriate action....nobody at the university, on the board of trustees or the PSC is covering anything up - regardless of the silly perception that we are looking for a scapegoat given a significant drop in endowment value as of 6/30!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cls99

    I've been reading through this thread, and most of the posters come across like fatuous 16 year olds who just read their first political science book and now know with 100% certainty how the world works. Yeah, get Kannam! He's Evil! In fact, let's GET HIM IN ALL CAPS!!!

    Let's be clear about a few things. Here's a list of things Kannam has been accused of:

    1. Violating his contract by spending too much time on outside ventures.
    2. Double billing expenses.

    Now here's a list of things he has NOT been accused of:

    1. Damaging the endowment.
    2. Allocating endowment money to his outside ventures.
    3. Insider trading.

    Or even:

    4. Child molestation
    5. Wife beating

    Yes, both those last things were on here.

    Now, I will be the first to admit that Kannam doesn't come off as someone I'd like to have a beer with. He comes across as greedy and maybe a little desperate. And no doubt this very fact has fueled many of the immature, irresponsible rants on this thread.

    But when you distill this down to what he's actually accused of, it's a run-of-the-mill contract dispute. Firing Kannam? No issue. Acting like this guy is a cross between Bernie Madoff and Lucifer? Grow up.

    My prediction: the whole thing goes to arbitration and Wes collects ten grand in disputed expenses. Not great, considering they must be spending hundreds of thousands.

  • Ron Medley, `73

    Arbitration would have to be a part of the contract itself, which is unlikely.

  • Anonymous

    Alum/long time investment pro with knowledge - how's your application for the CIO position coming along - you seem to be sucking up for it just fine !

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what kind of oral agreements defendant had with prior administration. Guess will have to call Bennet up on the witness stand.

  • Alum/long time investment pro with knowledge

    CLS 99/Anonymous - (a) he damaged the endowment by using university resources to do work for outside parties, (b) he sought to gain personal financial benefit by having inside information on alternative managers to share with third parties, (c) I have no interest in the CIO role at all - I am a loyal, knowledgeable alum with decades of experience in the business and you are a clown!

  • another alum

    Alum/long time - i guess you are right - going after him in a lawsuit would be better than not as a premtive move other wise the consequences would have possibly been a "wrongful termination" suit - not good considering the other cases Wesleyan is currently facing.

  • The Real World

    cls99 and 'another alum'

    are you guys for real? i am so glad you guys are not involved in this suit (though maybe you are advocates for the defense).

    your notion of how the world works is devoid of any reality.

    run of a mill contract dispute?

    preemptive move against wrongful termination?


  • Observer

    To: Alum/long time investment pro with knowledge

    Keep up your excellent posts. It is clear that these clowns have no idea what they are talking about.

  • anonymous

    The judge issued an order in the Kannam case. Do any of you legal eagles know what it means? I thought SCRAM was some sort of monitoring device???????

    102.10 02/23/2010 Court ORDER
    SCRAM 2/24/2010
    RESULT: Granted 2/23/2010 HON ROBERT HOLZBERG, J

  • legal non eagle

    looks like whoever filed a motion it got granted.

  • cls99

    Alum/long time:

    First, yes, he did work for outside parties, but Wesleyan is not even alleging that this harmed the endowment. The endowment seems to have outperformed its peers. So you are wrong on that point.

    Second, as to "seeking personal gain using inside information," you are wrong on this point as well, because what he was doing (or wanted to do - the suit does not say he actually did it) didn't constitute any legal definition of insider trading. If you are truly in the investment biz, which I doubt, you would know this.

    Insider trading requires use of inside information. What hedge funds have in their portfolios is not inside information the way, say, knowing in advance of a merger or earnings announcement is. What Kannam did was more akin to taking an idea you hear on CNBC and using it for yourself. (I know this isn't precisely analogous because many hedge funds don't publicize their positions, but legally speaking, it is precisely analogous.)

    Sleazy, yes. Illegal, no. Glad he's gone, he was a clown. But that's beside the point that you don't know what you're talking about.

    And I love all these posts that say things like I CAN'T BE SERIOUS but don't refute a single point.

    I suspect, in the end, the only damage done to the endowment will come from the economics of this case.

    And I, too, would be interested to know the legal update.

  • anon


    You are right. No insider trading is alleged. What is alleged is the misuse of confidential information. This could have been the transfer of confidential information provided to Wes to Kannam's 2nd, 3rd or 4th employer or others. Remember what NDAs are? There are a multitude of ways he could have leveraged confidential information for his financial benefit. You know that. And all of this was proprietary to Wes. Could Wes have benefitted, or did Kannam decide he was going to cherry pick the best and leave the rest to Wes.

    Please put your thinking cap on, envision that you are Kannam, and then figure out how he leveraged everything under the sun to maximize his current and future income, right down to the alleged expense fraud.

    Also spend some time closely looking at all the quotes in this case. You can easily create a situation where Wes $ was invested in Belstar for example. I recall the quote from the Belstar lawyer was that not one penny of Wes $ was inappropriately invested. Does that preclude Wes dough going into Belstar funds? I think not.

  • Wondering

    cls99 sounds an awful lot like Mr. Gill. The syntax, vocab and arguments are very close.

  • Sad

    Whatever the outcome I find some tragedy in this. There is no doubt that Kannam was an overachiever, an Ivy League graduate interested in finance and financial connections that met his goals. Probably had all his work done for the week by mid-day Wednesday, that led to idle time and perhaps alleged self-sabotaging behavior.

  • Alum/long time investment pro

    Once again cls 99 you misrepresent what I said: (a) I indicated he misused university resources - read students doing research, (b) I indicated the performance could have been better - it was not not top decile and you can check it out, (c) with multiple decades of experience on both the buy and sell side of the business, I clearly know the difference between actual insider trading and "cherry picking hedge fund/pe investment ideas from outside managers of the endowment - of which there were a significant number over many years - for personal gain". Your comparison of using CNBC information versus specific hedge fund positions/strategies is simpleminded and ludicrous! BTW, I have direct experience in all aspects of the institutional and UHNW marketplace, serve on multiple nonprofit boards and am well regarded by the president, BOT and PSC. I am really beginning to think your allegiance is completely off and flawed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wondering

    Don't worry Alum/long time investment pro. cls99 is a surrogate for the defendants, or someone who simply does not understand much of anything, or one of the defendants.

    His "insider trading" thesis is a red herring (or he's really dumb). There are no classic insider trading allegations (i.e., SEC).

    This is all about NDAs.

  • Alum/long time investment pro

    I'd like to point out since I chose to respond to this blog in the last few days after two months of speculation, innuendo and character assassination, my clear, cogent and logical explanations have been appaulded by many others (you have my support, anothe alum, observer, anon, wondering) because I have a keen understanding of the situation and speak the truth from decades of ethical practices in this very business. Clearly, the apologists are merely deflecting the critical core issues either out of ignorance or CYA tactics...happy to completely clear the air at the conclusion of this whole tawdry affair!!!!!!

  • You go girl

    Alum/long time investment pro

    Whose character was assassinated? Kannam's?

    He managed to do that on his own so far allegedly.

  • Alum/long time investment pro

    Aside from the snide comments by apologists directed at me (those who are truly clueless and way out of there league on this one!), I was referring to selected denigrating remarks focused on our president and BOT. While I abhor the racist and scatalogical remarks directed at our former CIO, I have known Tom Kannam for many years and this sad turn of events speaks volumes about personal greed destroying what could have been a successful second half of a 45 year olds career in the E&F investment world!!!!

  • You go girl

    You mispelled "there"

    The comments about Kannam were not racist. Indian is not a race. It is a country. And it is made up of at least 20 cultures. It is both muslim and hindu. Light skinned and dark skinned.

    Furthermore, Kannam was the one who launched the Indian humor through his e-mails. Its fair game.

    Poor taste for the few, yes. Racist, not even close. Funny, you're damn right. Its hilarious.

    Roth practices full disclosure which is a breath of fresh air.

    I am personally appalled at Wes students. I guess a conservative, overpaid administrator who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar is apparently quite a conundrum for Wes libs. It shouldn't be, but apparently it is.

  • "Business Ethics"

    I think that Wesleyan was misadvised by his business ethics experts. It would have been better for Wesleyan if they just terminated him and called it a day. After all even the "business ethics" experts here would have to admit you need a certain Machievellian disposition to be involved in finance management which can run against the grain
    of some Humanist sytems of ethics. (notice I did not use the phrase "Ivory Tower" as quoted in the New York Times)

    Which choice will be better for the endowment in the long run? Guess time will tell. I hope it all works out for the best.

  • Up In Smoke

    hey "Business Ethics", put the doobie down next time you post. that'll give the rest of us a fighting chance to understand you

  • Alum/long time investment pro

    (a) fair catch on the mispelling - and perhaps I should use ethnic instead of racist in the points still stand (b) there is nothing Machievellian about prudent and effective investment management for a college endowment...look at the other 750 schools in the NACUBO study - quality work here generates alpha/better investment returns which help schools with operating expenses/financial aid etc. In the real world, there is a big difference between unethical business practices and responsible money management!

  • Not Quite There Yet

    Not ethnic either. There are dozens of ethnicities in India. Maybe general stereotyping. The problem with that though is that Kannam himself led the way in mocking stereotypical Indians if the Wes e-mails are to be believed. This is similar to mocking the US citizens as beer guzzling yankee slobs who are missing teeth and live for NASCAR. Its neither race, religion, or ethnicity. Its simply mocking Americans through a caricature. Same goes with Indians - its just a caricature.

  • Show Wes the MONEY

    Has Kannam coughed up the $3 million yet or is he still trying to raise the funds? What happens if he doesn't, does he go to jail?

  • CT Yank in Court




    GO ROTH!

    118.00 03/01/2010 P OBJECTION TO MOTION

  • kanom

    "Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone"

  • Oucheroo

    "Another such board seat and I come back to Heather with even more equity"

  • Plutarch

    "And there went Alexander, a victor against all, a man driven by virtue"

    "He desired not pleasure or wealth, but only excellence and glory."

  • Testiclese

    "Those who attempt to castrate the giant, in a battle where his legions and virtues fall short, shall suffer a cruel castration at the hands of the inevitable victor"

  • Matthew

    Sound Advice for Kannam

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s"

  • "W"

    Mission Accomplished!

  • Korean Dignitary

    ABBA say that Kannam headed for own Waterloo.

  • Bernie

    Madoff say Kannam headed for lower bunk in my cell at Buttner

  • OJ

    OJ welcome Kannam to high country in Colorado. Bring gloves.

  • Skilling

    Got plenty of space up here in Minnesota. Bring research!

  • Sup Ct Case Watcher


    Big hearing next Monday on this case. March 8th.

    Defendant Ralph Gill has hired a second lawyer. Neubert Pepe is the new additional counsel.

    Legal fees must be really accumulating.

    Attorney: NEUBERT PEPE & MONTEITH PC(407996)
    195 CHURCH ST
    13TH FLOOR
    NEW HAVEN , CT 06510 Appear Date: 02/04/2010

    Attorney: WILLIAMS & BARBER LAW OFFICES OF(413651)
    SUITE 800A
    NEW HAVEN , CT 06510 Appear Date: 12/21/2009

  • The Final Oucheroo

    The legal billing charges accumulating for the defendants is at least $10 to $25 grand per day. Boy does that add up quicker than a wedding in Mumbai for 1,000. Its larger than a lifetime's worth of family trips to DisneyWorld. It's more than five hundred 50 yard line tickets to the Superbowl. And after a number of months, its way more than a membership at Torrey Pines. WOW WOW WOW

    Its just insanely crazy dude! Its growing at a rate faster than the national debt! I would have cried 'uncle' by now. Just simply devastating.


  • Bloodsport!

    Gloating and enjoying other people's misfortune !
    Keep it up

  • Luke R Hornblower

    Unbelievable story. Just spent hours reading all the comments.

    Is Kannam a CFA charterholder?

  • The Gloatmaster

    Its called Schadenfreude

  • Lawyers Always Win

    Kannam Choices

    1 Fight Wes - win or lose - and transfer much of your accumulated wealth to your lawyer ($400,$500,$600, more per hour? How many hours? 200? 300? 400? 500? more?) Do the math. It gets ugly fast. And it escalates exponentially.
    2 Lose to Wes and transfer whatever remains of your wealth to Wes. Add to that judgments, liens and possible bankruptcy if you run out of cash
    2 Suck it up, admit your mistakes, and seek a quick settlement. Its easier to start over via a confidential settlement. If you lose publicly in court, your restart becomes incredibly difficult

    Of course you might win. Only you know if you are an innocent victim or a scammer.

  • Can't Wait For the Trial!

    This is going to be nothing less than the trial of the century played out here in little old Middletown. Hopefully school will be in session.

    Its got everthing a jury and the public could ask for!

    International Intrigue
    Wall Street
    The Rich and Famous
    Luxury Lifestyles
    Venerable Institutions
    National Sporting Events
    International Destinations

    I just can't wait until the first witness is sworn in.

    'Your Honor, I would like to call our first witness to the stand'

    'Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?'

    'I do your Honor'

    'You may proceed'

  • Wizard

    Surrender Dorothy! Toto too!

    You have no ruby slippers.

    You can't go home.

    There are no "do-overs".

    Professor Marvel has no more tricks up his sleeve.

    Auntie Em cannot help you.

    Jai Ho baby. The fat lady is about to sing.

  • Math 101

    Tick tock tick tock tick tock. I hear the sound of adding machines. Hours times billing rate plus expenses. Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

  • Confuscious

    Gloating and counting chickens not look good to judge, jury and Alumni donations.

  • simon says

    ru serious confuscious or just confused? the chickens hatched a long time ago.

  • simon says

    And yes, the chickens were counted. Their names are-

    alleging breach of fiduciary duty

    civil theft

    breach of contract


    statutory forgery

    unjust enrichment

  • Chicken Little

    I am upset at the chicken named Civil Theft. That little bugger. He goes around stealing all the other chickens' feed. Sometimes he teams with Unjust Enrichment and they go through the entire coop eating up all the feedstock.

  • Keeping Tabs

    From Wes' Outside Legal Counsel Website -

    Some of Murtha Cullina's largest matters have been breach of contract cases. Most businesses transact their business by contract, and with the application of the economic loss doctrine and the language in many contracts that eliminates tort liability, we have stripped away the tort claims so that the litigation has been all about the contract. If we represent the plaintiff in these cases, we do what we can at the outset to get injunctive relief and prejudgment remedies to protect our client's interest.

  • Chicken Coop

    Alright, Chicken Little and Civil Theft, back into the henhouse...

  • Bloodsport!

    What did you hens major in college: Freud?
    ( Schaden Freud)

  • Chicken Little

    Nope... Schaden Fraud

  • Chicken Little

    Unjust Enrichment studied in Iran

    Breach of Contract and Breach of Fiduciary Duty studied with the whales in Hawaii

    Statutory Forgery took a sculpture class in Italy

    Civil Theft studied with Ann Landers to improve his manners.

  • Legal Beagle

    Boy, does Winakor have his shit together! The Kannam case was reviewed by every leader at Wes before it was filed. Now that is a buttoned up and ironclad approach. Too bad for the defendants. My money is on Wes!

    “Any time there is a high level hiring or firing I’m involved from a risk management perspective,” Winakor said. “In this case, it turned out that there was a lot more to it. After the investigation, the president, the cabinet, the board, and I decided further action was necessary. Now, the lawyers representing us are working for the University, but I’m the contact. I manage the day-to-day.”

  • anon

    The Kannam case was reviewed by all of the best minds in the leadership of Wesleyan. Not a stone was left unturned. And it looks like Winakor did everything he could to resolve the issue before filing suit. That's the mark of a wise and practical man. Its clear that Wesleyan leadership took a long and hard look at the case. They would not have filed suit unless they had more than a reasonable degree of certainty that they would prevail.

    I really pity the defendants. They really need to figure out how to settle this suit. Once they enter depositions, the legal fees and expenses for them will skyrocket. If this thing is fully played out in public court, I really feel sorry for them and their families. They won't win based on legal technicalities. Its really a shame. Very smart people who alledgedly could not resist temptation. Now they are paying the price. Such a waste. Let's hope they wise up and do the right thing, and don't pass the point of no return.

  • Anony

    The last thing these defendants will want is a jury trial. They are better off arguing before a judge. They can at least argue the law before the judge. With a jury, it'll be all about the evidence.

  • Telling the Truth

    Indians are notorious liars. They tell you to your face one thing and they do something else. This is a fact of life....

  • Steven Blumenthal

    I would rather slit my throat than do business with a stupid Indian. Fuck them all. Kannam is a case in point.

  • Ct Sup Court Watcher

    Looks like Kannam is making further desperate attempts to get the law suit dismissed based on 'law'. I guess he does not want to face the music. I would love to read these memoranda. They must parse the law in unheard of ways. Let's get on to the $3 million prejudgment remedy. Now that will be fun! I wonder who is footing the bill on all of this?

    119.00 03/03/2010 D

  • observer

    Looks like Kannam etal are going to fight every inch of the way. That gets incredibly expensive. Just the coordination among defense attorneys costs a ton of cash, and that's before anything is filed or hearings are even held. Unless of course the defendants are all acting independently to defend themselves, which is a possibility. In that case it would be every man for himself.

    Really, spending a lot of money and time to get the charges dismissed is a losing strategy, unless there is irrefutable evidence that Wes fabricated all their evidence. That is doubtful. Arguing that Kannam had unlimited authority to hold multiple jobs is a tough sell. Or that he had explicit approval by the higher ups to go to Superbowls, PGA tournaments, weddings in India, Disney World, or Cambridge University is preposterous. There just seem to be too many smoking guns present if one is to believe Wes' complaint.

    However, maybe the contract with Kannam was poorly written with a lot of loopholes. But even if that were the case, some of the allegations seem to be independent of any possible contract language.

    This is either a necesary move on Kannam's part, particularly if he is innocent, or one of the most expensive Kamikaze crashes into the ocean of all time.

  • One Amateur View

    Kannam should consider posting the prejudgment remedy and then focus all his remaining resources on winning the case at trial with speed, not delay.

    Unless the defense attorneys' have an extremely high degree of certainty that they can get the case dismissed or the charges central to Wes' argument reduced or eliminated, most of this money spent up front could be money down the rathole. Sure it helps prep the attorneys. Sure it helps to whittle away at the charges. But at the end of the day, is it guaranteed to help Kannam? Remember, it is the preponderance of evidence, not reasonable doubt that rules. Wes seems to have preponderance of evidence, which would suggest that the judge will send this to trial. So why waste all this money up front? Save it for the trial. Save it for expert witnesses. Save it for deposition preparation. Save it for exhibits. Save it for thorough legal research.

    This money would be better spent preparing for and focusing on the trial (unless Kannam has in his possession evidence that completely and unambiguously exonerates him. Then going for dismissal makes complete sense)

  • Colonel Kurtz

    Hey Kannam, welcome to your hurt locker!

    In case you don't know what it means, here is a definition. 'A place you go when you are painfully unsuccessful'. It gives true meaning to the catch phrase, 'Oucheroo'. How amazingly ironic.

    You need to think long and hard about whether you want this case to go the full course, right down to a jury verdict. Do you really want a group of random people, many of them hurt by the economic slump, to decide your fate, the fate of someone far wealthier than any of them? Or do you want to take control of your future, take your licks now, and get on with your life under your own terms?

    Can you rely on your co-defendants? Don't kid yourself on this one. Self preservation is a mighty powerful force.

    What are your plans if you lose? Have you thought about that yet?

    If they tell you your case is a slam dunk, don't buy it. It's not by any stretch of the imagination. And if your lawyers convince you to do a mock trial in preparation for the real thing, don't rely on the results. It may help marginally to fine tune your defense, but it won't represent the real thing. They never do. They inevitably raise false hopes.

    Your trial is apt to be a spectacle once it commences. Are you prepared for that? You'll be all over the papers day in and day out. It won't be pretty.

    Can you hold up under intense examination by the plaintiff's attorneys? If you go in thinking that you are smart, you will be crucified on the stand. Even if you are innocent, this will be one helluv an ordeal. No one ever comes out undamaged, innocent or not.

    Even if you win, what are your prospects for future employement? If everything Wesleyan says is true, yet you get off because of a poorly written contract, who is going to hire you? Who is going to trust you to do the right thing, regardless of contract "language"?

    These are all imporant questions that you need to reflect upon. You need to assess what the implications are for both winning and losing. You need to assess the various outcomes and what they mean for you.

    What do you do the day after you win?

    What do you do the day after in the unfortunate event that you lose?

    Kurtz out.

  • Another anon

    Dear "Observer" and "One Amateur View",

    I am so glad that you posted your original answers as to why Kannam is fighting for a dismissal:

    1) that his contract allowed other work, and
    2) that he has the evidence to be exonerated.

    Defending yourself because you've been wronged makes perfect sense.

    Wouldn't everyone do the same -- even "Colonel Kurtz"?

  • last call

    so far most of what we have seen is a lot of Wes evidence. it may or may not have any veracity. with respect to the defense, we have at least one defense lawyer quoted (not evidence) and we have the post from defendant gill which attempts to minimize wes' claims and divert attention to other issues broader issues, but offers little in the way of solid evidence (although he does appear to serve up some incriminating evidence against kannam as someone pointed out in an earlier post). the post may or may not be real. who knows?
    that aside, does anyone, anywhere have evidence (or even a viable theory) that kannam's contract allowed other work or that kannam possesses the evidence to be exonerated? if so, state your case please. it'll help draw this discussion board back to the case at hand.

  • Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, Special Forces

    I never defend myself. I do not care. I just go native.

  • CT Sup Court Watcher

    BIG COURT HEARING ON MONDAY IN THE KANNAM CASE. Will the ARGUS be there? Appears Motion to Dismiss will be the principle focus of the proceedings based on Case Detail Summary.

    # Date Time Event Description Status
    1 03/08/2010 10:30AM Hearing Proceeding

  • They can't be serious?

    YOUR HONOR, we ask you to dismiss this case. Kannam's contract permitted him to do anything he wanted to do. It was a blank check without restriction. Wesleyan agreed to pay for everything under the sun, including personal expenses, and readily agreed to permit him to work anywhere outside of Wesleyan and at any time in order to make as much money as possible. His time was his own to use it as he saw fit.



  • G.H.M.'12

    You people should not be attacking Kannam. He is guilty until proven innocent. The US Constitution gives him this right.

  • kanom

    Kannam should win or the case dismissed. He met the obligations of his job. Administration dug up some dirt on him by going through his email and found some grounds to fire him. So they did. Court cant be bothered with internal university politics.

  • kabob

    Kannam should lose and the case goes to trial. He did not meet the obligations of his job. Brave whistleblower came forward and presented damning evidence. Whistleblower is hero. Court frowns on fraud, statutory forgery, unjust enrichment and breach of contract.

  • Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Jr. PhD

    I'll have my mobile hot dog stand set up on Monday morning outside of superior court at 10:30a sharp. For every dog sold, you'll receive one special ticket. If the case is dismissed each ticket holder will receive a free foot long hot dog courtesy of me, Apu

  • Weekends Free

    Another anon,

    Back to work for you my friend. you have an important hearing on monday for your client (or yourself?) Better work all weekend. The hill you have to climb is huge. You have to get the judge to suspend all disbelief and get him to accept the fact that your client's position at Wes was not full time, EVEN THOUGH HE WAS THE HIGHEST PAID STAFF ON CAMPUS. Was his job 9-5? At 5p was he no longer the Wes CIO? He was an officer just like Roth. At 5p does Roth cease being the Prez?

    And pleeeeez, don't offer the fact that the endowment did not suffer. its totally irrelevant. its meaningless. the fact that anyone would offer this excuse smacks of guilt.

    My friend, your whole argument is farcical and a century's worth of employment law is working against you from any angle imaginable. It is embarassing that a univ CIO would actually be so bold as to claim that he could hold other jobs besides the one he was hired to do. This is one of the most deficient excuses that has ever been offered as a defense.

  • Weekend Music for the Big "K"

    Enjoy my friend. You deserve it!

    My my, at waterloo napoleon did surrender
    Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
    The history book on the shelf
    Is always repeating itself

    My my, I tried to hold you back but you were stronger
    Oh yeah, and now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight

  • Big Time Reality Check

    Well K. here it is. days before your big day in court. monday's it for you old buddy. you've got a lot riding on your defense team to get this thing dimissed. if not, you are going to be writing checks like nobody's business. depositions are a bitch. and just think, you'll be paying for most of them. court steno's, video cams, legal prep. it just doesn't stop, does it? it just keeps going and going and going. where does it end? does it end?

    money will be flying out the window faster than feeding c-notes into a one armed bandit. but no one ever wins. never hits those triple 7s. its just an nondescript smoke filled casino with nameless souls pumping their life savings into a hungry machine in the hope of hitting it big. the trouble is, they never do.

    its eating away at you. its not a bad dream. this shit is for real. you know you don't deserve it. afterall you went to the best schools and are exceptionally smart. at least that it what others say, but you do deserve it my friend, you screwed up bigtime. will your co-defendants stand with you. maybe for now, but when the going gets tough, will it be every man for themselves? they have their families and careers to worry about. you are just a footnote in their lives. their narrative does not include you.

    so once again, you are asking yourself, "am i doing the right thing?" what if i lose? what happens? where will i go? what will i do? who are my real friends? can i really win this thing? will anyone believe me? who believes in me?

    all very difficult questions and a situation that is incredible sad and unfortunate.

  • Luke R Hornblower '05

    I spoke with Mr. Kannam on one occasion about two years ago. I was working for Western Asset Management and was curious about his fixed income allocation. I was hoping to generate a lead for our marketing folks. On the phone he was very polite and generous with his time. He gave me some good career advice.

  • Idiot Catcher

    Hornblower, you are a fool or you are a member of the defense. The content of you posting is, well, laughable.

  • aspiring rip off artist

    hey horatio, what career advice did kannam give you?

  • British/UN Global Warming Data Center

    And global warming is real Luke

  • Someone Tell Me

    How can the defense argue that Kannam, a full time salaried officer of Wesleyan, was able to seek and secure, without restriction, employment with others while hanging onto his endowment job?

    Someone tell me how the lawyers can argue this with a straight face. How can they get up and argue that Kannam had a right to outside employment, and do so without bursting into uncontrolled laughter.

    If they retreat into parsing the language of his contract and citing obscure and ambiguous elements of the law, they will be laughed out of the hearing chamber.

    Losing this first round is incredibly risky. Your whole argument for trial is blown out of the water before you even begin.

  • Wes Observer

    Trust me. Trial attorneys are wizards at their craft. They'll argue anything and everything no matter what they personally believe in. Right v. wrong doesn't matter. Its all about the jury and convincing them their client was wronged. Just like the OJ case, your winning strategy is your courtroom lawyer, not your legal and evidentiary argument.

  • alumnus

    observer, your spot on. lets hope that wes has real pro for the court room. the case will be won by whose lawyer connects with the jurymen and jurywoman.

  • anon

    Kannam's goin' down faster than the Titanic.

  • anonymous

    No one asks for a prejudgment remedy unless the case they have is a slam dunk, and there is a substantial risk of "disappearing assets"

  • Luke R Hornblower '05

    If you want to learn more about global warming I encourage you to search for my mother's articles at the LA Times website. Her name is Margot Roosevelt.

  • Luke R Hornblower '05

    Idiot Catcher: what has been your personal experience with Mr. Kannam? Just curious.

    If I remember correctly I was frustrated with my job at Western and was thinking of leaving. He told me to hang in there until something better came along. I ended up leaving prematurely and joining a sinking ship (Evergreen Investments). That was a poor decision on my part. I left Evergreen for an opportunity in Russia but that offer was retracted when a partner died.

    I'm in law school now. I have an interview with the Securities and Exchange Commission next Friday for their Summer Honors Program.

  • Rajit Gupta

    Thomas is not pleased with his situation. He was not the only one involved. Mr. Ralph Gill was a direct partner. Please wait a few days. Thomas will bring forward several documents showing that Gill was involved and actually encouraged Kannam to participate. Gill is the real criminal here.

  • Owen Wilson

    Just so all of you readers know, Ralph Gill and his ex-wife Anne are planning to escape the law and all their financial debts by running to Toronto Canada. Just thought all of you should know that he has set up a separate operation there to escape justice here in the United States.

  • Peter '011

    Hey guys keep it clean. I think Thomas Kannam is a slime bag and I can't wait to meet him one day wherever, and call him out. If I see him, I'll say his name loud and then say "YOU ARE A FRAUD AND YOU TRIED TO RIP OFF WESLEYAN! YOU ARE A CRIMINALDUDE!"

  • Student President

    People, let's all petition this Thomas Kannam affair. Kannam has disgraced all of us and has dragged Wesleyan's name through the mud. We will organize a protest during his trial and we will rally the entire student body and the community of the college to protest against this criminal. I suspect we can call thousands to support us and elicit good articles from the WALL STREET JOURNAL and FORTUNE MAGAZINE and other notable publications. We need to put this man behind bars with slick prick Bernie Madoff.

  • A Wood Gundy alumni

    I spoke with Thomas Kannam the other day and there is NO WAY he is going to admit guilt. And guess what? The fall guy will be RALPH GILL. Thomas has a lot of emails with Ralph saying that they should work together to suck as much money as possible into their personal funds. No way Thomas will tell Gill, because it has to be a surprise in court. But just you wait and see. The fireworks will come!

  • anon

    The wisest thing that Kannam could do would be to protect his own ass and not worry about the others.

    I guarantee all the others will point to Kannam and say that he represented to them that everything he was doing was approved by the higher ups at Wes, or permitted by his so-called contract.

    Kannam is in very deep hole (halfway to China!), and it will only become deeper as his co-defendants start flipping on him.

  • The Green Mile

    anon, a great call. Fact is, Kannam needs to protect himself and get some damn insurance.

    Look at Madoff's associates. They are all turning themselves in and ratting on everyone else, in exchange for a lesser sentence. The dam is breaking and it is EVERYONE FOR HIMSELF!!!

    I would definitely TAKE THE HIGHER GROUND and get out of there while the going is good. You don't want to be at the short end, when they are handing out the longest jail sentences

  • Sangeet ke saath Khursi

    The best metaphor for this case is "musical chairs". What happens when the music stops? Kannam will be standing. Even his buddy Gill and his wife Heather will find a chair.

  • Ghandi

    Sangeet, when crooks are involved, they do not care about anyone but themselves. At the end of the day, they are selfish and will lie and sell out even their best friends to save their own skins. Who the hell wants to go to jail for five years and get rammed up the ass?

  • Scared shitless

    Kannam has proven he is a liar and a deceiver. I'm sure he is talking to the prosecution right now cutting a deal on one hand, and on the other hand, telling all his friends that he is not going to say a damn word. It is classic betrayal of friendships.

  • Bill Of Rights

    Kannam has the right to a fair trial. The US Constitution says that everyone is guilty until proven innocent. Let Kannam have his day in court!

  • Wondering

    I am still trying to figure out what role all the other defendants played in this? Does anyone know? There must have been some sort of conspiracy, which means that the other defendants knew precisely what was going on.

    If this is the case, they will all do anything possible to save their arses.

  • In Defense of...

    You people are worthless. Kannam did a great job managing the endowment. It performed no differently than any other college endowment. Just because he was trying to make a little more money on the outside using his brilliant skills does not mean that he harmed Wesleyan in any shape or manner. My goodness, he has private school tuition for his kids, he has a lifestyle to maintain, he has to finance his wife's books, he has expenses that the rest of us simply do not have. I do not hold it against him for trying to make a little more money. And all those so-called trips? He was simply representing Wesleyan at events that potential big money donors attend. He was actually using his own personal time to help Wesleyan. All those e-mails are simply taken out of context. Kannam and his friends were simply engaging in humorous banter, nothing more, nothing less. He is a stand up guy and does not deserve this mess.

  • Question of a Lifetime

    Do you, Thomas Kannam, solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

  • Dishonest Executives

    Kannam's reputation precedes him. His emails point to a deceitful, dishonest untrustworthy person.

    I've also heard of this Ralph Gill. Rumors abound, but there is always some truth in them.

    What I have heard is not good. Apparently, Ralph Gill has been caught lying and cheating in his professional career. I've also heard that he has a police record? Can someone verify this?

  • Thomas Kannam Blows

    Dear "In Defense of...." AKA Thomas Kannam.... _uck off buddy. Obviously it is you who are writing the glowing praises of a criminal. Kannam, go to jail. Do not stop at Go, do not collect $200. Go directly to jail you sack of shit.

  • Bernie Madoff Kannam


    Thomas Kannam you slimy Indian! Posing as "In Defense of!" Why you never stop deceiving do you? You give the entire 1 billion Indian race a bad reputation as lying, dishonest low life slumdogs. Go back to Bangalore.

  • Comin' Up Real Soon!

    Has the jury reached a verdict?

    We have your Honor.

    What say you jury foreman?

    Your Honor, we the people of the State of Connecticut, after careful deliberation, have reached the following verdict.

    On Count One, we find the defendant, Thomas Kannam.......


  • Thomas Kannam is a LIAR

    Ya, right "IN DEFENSE"

    I'm sure Kannam is a good guy. Just like Hitler was a good guy, eh Thomas?

  • In Defense of...

    Thomas Kannam will show everyone that he is innocent. He has been falsely accused. He is going to prove that everything he did was fully legal, fully known by the higher ups at Wes, and fully sanctioned in writing through his contract.

    He is a great guy, just as Luke R. Hornblower has pointed out. Hornblower would not be applying to work at the SEC and weigh in on a fraud case without knowing the truth.

    Good luck on Monday Tom.

  • Investigative Journalism

    Hey Toby, Bic, I just got into town and read your emails.

    Sounds like he got into a lot of trouble up at Oxford Law School. Our contact says he can get classmates to cite true stories where he was cheating and plagerizing on his papers. They have evidence.

    This is great and the Argus will love it. Should have everything clear within a few days. When the news breaks the mainstream press will be the first to know. They will love to see justice served on these crooks once and for all.


  • Ellie Thomas Jones

    Go to Jail Thomas Kannam. Just drop off our $3.0 million on the way out the door you piece of shit.

  • A Friend


    Pretty good stuff, huh? Did you read the whole thing? We've also got more stuff on Kannam. His emails are funny, especially the stuff he sent J. I've got loads of evidence and some of it is too juicy to print. Just have to verify it and off to the NYT we go. I'll keep you posted, and will B and Jenny.


  • ???

    Who are you guys talking about? Is that Ralph Gill at Oxford? Are you saying he cheated at Oxford? Where did he go to the graduate school? I think the Oxford school officials should know all this.

  • In Defense of licks balls

    Thomas Kannam you dishonest bastard. You are a fraud, a jerk and an asshole. Did you really think you could fool us at Wesleyan? You are a total shithead. Your wife must get it from somewhere else because your prick is so small you couldn't even fuck a baby coconut.

  • A note to ???

    It is pretty common knowledge at Oxford that many students thought Ralph Gill was a homosexual. A dishonest homosexual too? Please confirm.

  • Kannam the Adulterer

    I heard Kannam had sex with several co-eds here at Wesleyan? Does his wife know that he is an adulterer? Does she know that he dipped his wick here when he said he was on some stupid business trip? And to think she only thought he was on a business trip to deceive Wesleyan, when actually he was tooting his tuba here on campus with a few of our young female classmates. Soon they will come forward and finger him, just like the Tiger Woods scenario!!!

  • Poor Lass

    I was one.

  • JRT'96

    Guys, I think I have my buddy at the WSJ lined up. They intend to look into Kannam at some point soon. He'll have his only little Stipple portrait. Its really the only higher education fraud case at this point

  • anon

    If one more person writes that Kannam managed the endowment well, I am going to blow chunks. It is totally irrelevent to this case.

    I can also tell you if his lawyers use this as a defense, it'll fail worse than Obama's decision to try the 911 masterminds in the heart of Lower Manhattan.

  • Enough!

    How nice to know that Wesleyan is the bastion of modern-day McCarthyism!

    Amazing, how this liberal institution lambastes anyone who does not think they way they do --

    -- i.e, that Kannam is a fornicating adulterer who screwed the university.

    Anyone who even tries to present the other side is immediately accused of being Kannam himself.

    Whatever happened to unbiased journalism and ethics in reporting -- values that Wesleyan is supposed to be teaching?

    I most sincerely hope that, some day, there will be a way to track down your posts... and that your would-be employers can read your most biased blogs.

    Try to get a job then, Argus reporters who are spamming your own site to keep the story alive.

  • anon

    Dear Enough!

    While you make some good points, let me point out some things that don't make sense

    1. This case is not about ideology. It is neither liberal or conservative, capitalist or communist.

    2. Whats the other side? That everything in Wes' complaint is a lie and was filed to maliciously defame and ruin 20 defendants for no good reason other than sport?

  • Third World Truths

    Whew! After reading all these posts, if I am Thomas Kannam, I'm hiring the best lawyer and then trying to cut a deal so that I get as little jail time as possible. If I am Kannam, I'm gonna make sure that if I have to pay, those idiots who are my so-called "friends" pay too. That is just the Indian way.

  • anon

    Praytell, what is the "Indian way"

  • Outside Advice Giver

    The best thing for Tom Kannam to do is to cut a deal and get this case out of court pronto. If he is as good as everyone says he is, he should be able to recover nicely and "re-earn" his $3 million in a short period of time. If this thing goes to a verdict and he loses, heaven knows what his future earning potential will be. Its best that he takes his lumps and moves on with his life. He's lucky that Wesleyan went the civil route as the charges seem to rise to a criminal standard (if true). However, civil charges are easier to prove (i.e, the OJ criminal v. civil case). If he is innocent, he is doing the right thing going to court. But innocence means that all of the Wesleyan charges are 100% not true. This is doubtful. Furthermore, the chances that codefendants rally together on a case is minimal. Most pursue their own justice without regard for anyone else (as they should).

  • Disgusted

    It is sickening to read this blog. Prior to this man's day in court, he has been defamed in a way which will destroy his future livelihood and the fortunes of his children.

    It is my understanding that libel is not only a civil issue but may, under certain circumstance, be deemed a criminal act. I also understand that investigative authorities can identify bloggers if need be. I hope they do so in this instance.

    If the WSJ comes along, are they going to focus on the breach on contract case, or the defamation of character?

    Finally and importantly, the reason Kannam's performance IS an issue, in a civil suit the plantiff must prove damages. If Kannam is a top performer - which no one seems to dispute - damages appear to be $20K.

    BTW - who leaked the emails?

  • anon

    They might start with Ralph Gill's defamation of Mssrs Roth and Winakor in his post above

  • More Homework

    Yes, the civil plaintiff must prove damages. I suggest you break out your old law books and look up "honest services". Next I would suggest that you study non disclosure agreements. Once you have completed that homework, come back and I will give you your next assignment. Finally if you think that Kannam was a top performer, you are confusing endowment performance with individual performance.

  • Disgusted

    Honest Services is not a civil application....and it is highly suspect as a criminal application. Further, the only NDA allegations are a fabrication of the blog. Also, if Kannam's responsibility is the endowment's performance.....why would you conclude his performance was different? What else was he hired for?

    Go do your own homework.....

  • Anonymous

    Time for Disgusted to review the case as we know it once more --

    According to the University’s pleadings, Kannam violated his contract by devoting most of his energies into personal “entrepreneurial ventures,” which diverted his attention away from his duties at Wesleyan. The University also claims that Kannam improperly exploited his privileged access to Wesleyan’s financial information, some of which was proprietary, for his own benefit, and that he used the University’s funds for his own business and personal expenses.

  • Class of 2012

    Is Kannam dead yet? I'm just curious. Because entire student body thinks he is a dork and deserve the chamber.

  • Stephen Fitzgerald is a jerk

    Stephen Fitzgerald, Kannam's lawyer is a douche bag. He was a douche at law school and a douche in college too. What a loser dork. Kannam you two deserve yourselves. Both of you suck big time.

  • Leslie Chambers

    Folks, lets not forget Kannam's emails: This is from one of his classic ones: “Through my portfolio at Wesleyan, I have a window on some very interesting stock ideas,” Kannam allegedly wrote. “If possible I’d like to cherry-pick the best and capitalize on them. Would it be possible to feed Mike’s [Zaninovich] hedge fund and get paid some incentive on the performance of our ideas? Might be the fastest way to some real dough.”

    What an asshole you are Kannam

  • anonymous

    I heard Gill is going to turn Kannam in. Did you guys here that too? Chip? Call me at my old mobile number

  • Barnaby Jones

    Look at Kannam's charges! The guy is a deviant! Screw him! Toss his sorry ass in jail and throw away the key.

    KANNAM'S BEING ACCUSED OF: "alleging breach of fiduciary duty, civil theft, breach of contract, fraud, statutory forgery, and unjust enrichment..."

  • Prosecution

    I've heard Ralph Gill is bankrupt and that he and his wife are fleeing to Toronto Canada to escape his debtors.

    Those who are familiar with the case know that he is being investigated for not paying back a substantial amount of loans.

    I can't go into the details, as I understand the investigation into Mr. Gill has just begun.

    Apparently from what I've read and heard, Mr. Gill has created a number of very suspicious transactions that never materialized. Hence, I am not surprised to learn that he worked with Kannam as indicated in the article above (quoted below).

    "According to the complaint, Kannam began improperly profiting from his position at Wesleyan in 2001, when he and Ralph Gill, an associate, formed Cross Border Capital Advisors, or CBCA. The University released what it claims are some of Kannam’s email correspondences, sent from both his official email address and a personal account he accessed regularly on his work computer, to support its charges."

  • Death Row

    Kannam has ripped off our University. He is making fools out of all the admistrators with his gay lawyer who wears a skirt. I say start petitioning and hire a top gun lawyer and go after that bastard and his stupid friends. I'm incensed that he has ripped off our university and might get away with only a slap on his wrists. That is why I can't stand foreigners like him.

  • University Propaganda Office

    Joe Pesci here - and if any of yous get any bright ideas here like that greasy former CIO ought to get off easy just gotta let you know da BIG CHEESE aint gonna like dat. He may send Bruno and his thugs here to knock some sense into you'all and that goes for any commie pinko judges or juries out there. JUDGE ya listening - you know how we need this verdict to turn out - Kapische?

  • Questioner

    Anyone attend todays Kannam hearing? Was it in open court?

  • anonymous

    Theatre of absurd!

  • Case details
  • Questioner II

    So what happened at the hearing? JRT, weren't you, Toby, Bic and Chip going to set up some sort of hot dog stand?

  • ML

    When did inflammatory posts begin to disappear?

    Back in January, I wrote in response to (among other things) slurs made against Kannam's Indian ancestry.

    Not only are those posts are no longer visible, others have been deleted. I was definitely not the 14th blogger, but wrote after a long line of insults.

    Is the Argus finally concerned about libel, after all?

  • reality check time

    ML -- ru serious? Are you suggesting that Kannam named his lair the "Taj" to celebrate and pay personal homage to his Indian ancestry? That seems to be the case from a re-read of your January posting. Get real my friend. As they say, 'there is one born every day'.

  • Perspective

    Remember, a person's performance requirements are spelled out in his/her contract and job description. That's the only basis for measurement. Whether the endowment went up or down does not matter. The only question is whether the individual did his/her best with respect to his/her individual performance elements. Did that person provide his/her full attention and focus to the job that they were hired to do?

  • Disgusted

    What are the damages?

    The allegations are likely grounds for dismissal, limiting any exposure to the university with regard to wrongful termination. However, reflecting upon all of the information provided, the only damages appear to be $20k. Given the endowment performance, I have yet to see anything more.

  • CT Sup Ct Watcher

    CRITICAL CASE UPDATE: The judge issued some type of order yesterday regarding the motion to dismiss made by the defendants. It appears to be final as it is not arguable. The court website does not indicate what his actual decision was unfortunately. One hint may be that the 'case disposition section' remains blank. This suggests that the case is still open and therefore will proceed to trial. On the otherhand, there are no upcoming 'events scheduled'. Scheduled events would indicate that the case is proceeding. A lack of scheduled events could mean that the case is over. On balance, lacking any other information, it appears that the show will go on. Anyone have any firsthand knowledge?

    107.00 02/09/2010 D MOTION TO DISMISS
    107.10 03/09/2010 Court ORDER

  • anon


    Nice spin--but your dog don't hunt.

    Go back and read all of Wes' allegations and redo your damages estimate, but this time do it allegation by allegation.

    And where exactly did you get the figure of $20,000? I don't recall reading that anywhere. Are you guessing? And let me tell you, $20,000 is no small laughing matter.

    Remember this, the $3 million pre-judgment remedy request is just a starting point. Once they dive into discovery no telling what else may emerge.

  • Disgusted

    You're right anon - it does sound like the administration is on an expedition.

    Look, this is a civil case. You have to prove wrongdoing and damages. Heck, Kannam could argue his outside activities enhanced his ability to provide value to the endowment, given the performance.

    The $20k was my assumption for the expense account abuse, which is a small sum given where we are now.

  • anon

    Disgusted, I would agree with you that this whole thing should have been settled. If I were one of the defendants, I would do everything to settle. Why wasn't it settled? Probably because the fraud and theft extended well beyond expense account abuse.

    Also, I assume you saw the Belstar SEC form with Kannam listed. Tell me, why was the Wes Endow Investment Office listed as a financial advisor to Belstar?

    Who pays for Kannam's alleged use of the Quant Center and his staff for outside party work?

  • Columbo

    where did all the 'angry students' of a few days ago disappear to

  • Lucky Dog

    I would say that Mr. Kannam is lucky there was not a criminal referral by Wesleyan. In other businesses, this type of alleged fraud would be turned over to the district attorney in most cases. I presume that Wesleyan cares only about getting its money back.

  • another anon

    Perhaps they were scared off by assertions that libelous posts could be traced back to them.

  • calendar

    They are on spring break, mar 5 to 22

  • pot : kettle

    perhaps they are (those who called Attorney a douchebag, Kannam an adulterer and Gil a 'homo')

  • current student

    So what does the order given by the judge mean? What's the latest?

  • anon

    I just cannot wait until the Kannam apologists on this website declare victory if some of the charges are dropped.

  • current student (freshman)

    I know Kannam sounds like a sleaze and ought to have been fired, but wouldn't it be kind of dangerous precedent if judge declared that
    any employer had the right to "just get its money back" after they employed and fired him?

  • anon

    fraud is different than simply being a crappy employee

  • Disgusted

    And what was Kannam's criminal fraud? The admin seems to have thrown out a big net with a bunch of allegations, but all I have seen is alleged breach of contract and expense account abuse.

    I assume there is no pre-law at Wesleyan. (Pre-Law.....Pre-Med....what's the difference?)

  • anon

    This is a civil case Disgusted, not a criminal case.

  • Disgusted

    I know - I was referring to Lucky Dog's post

  • current student

    is the case over? what happened?

  • Luke R. Hornblower '05

    I never said Kannam is a "great guy." I was only relating my personal experience speaking with him on the telephone. It appears I am the only person on this board who has had any personal interaction with him.

    This discussion is typical of the discourse at Wesleyan, and exactly why I am somewhat ashamed to be associated with the school.

  • not so legal eagle

    What happened on 3/19? Am afraid I don't know how to interpret the following:

    120.00 03/19/2010 filed by Defense
    Not arguable

    121.00 03/19/2010 filed by Defense MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION

    122.00 03/19/2010 filed by Plaintiff
    APPLICATION For An Order Pendente Lite Against Thomas Kannam
    Not arguable

    123.00 03/19/2010 filed by Defense
    Motion to Stay as to Ralph Gill
    Not arguable

  • Definition

    Here's a definition on
    Stay of Proceedings - Suspension of the progression of a lawsuit on the order of a court in certain situations such as where the proceedings are obviously frivolous or the plaintiff has engaged in a misconduct.

  • current student

    seems like they're trying to get all of the other defendants off the hook and put it all on Kannam?

  • anon

    Pendente Lite is often used to ensure that a defendant's assets are preserved pending the outcome of the trial.

    A stay is a last ditch effort to suspend proceedings. It may mean that the request by the defendants to have the case dimissed failed. And remember, a stay is temporary.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with frivolity or misconduct. If that were the case, there would be a counter suit filed already, or the case would be dismissed.

  • Q

    Luke, what happened with the SEC internship interview?

  • Belfry

    Looks like the defendants are trying to pull rabbits out of their hats. Hopefully they have two hats. That's key!

  • John Deere
  • Woops

    Wrong case my deere

  • Geeezzz

    How many lawsuits is Wes engaged in?

  • Suit

    Very few given the size of the institution

  • current student

    Wes is in 3 right now... the Kannam case, the Stephen Morgan case (Cornell professor), and a third one with one Simonetta Marcello. go to and type "Wesleyan University" in "Party Last Name" you can see that over the past 10 years, Wes has been involved in 11 cases. however, this is quite small. search "Yale University " and you get 217 hits!

  • Geeezzz

    Interesting, as it appears Yale U. has about the same amount but is obviously much larger.....

  • Lies and Then Statistics

    Geeezzz obviously has an axe to grind or he/she failed stats.

  • Luke R Hornblower '05

    I got the offer for the SEC Summer Honors Law Program in DC. I'm not sure what division I'll be in yet. I'm angling for the division of investment management, since that is where my experience is. I go to Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

  • Geeezzz

    No Lies and Statistics - Its pretty clear for anyone.....

    If you go to the site and type Yale (ignoring the hospital) you get 15 hits. Wesleyan is 11 with 3 going on right now.....

    Did you take stats?

  • current student

    umm, it's not that difficult. if you type in Yale University in "Party Last Name" you get 217 hits. almost all of which are Yale University and not the hospital

  • Legal Issues not Mathematical

    I guess by the 'statistics' argument one could exonerate OJ based on the fact that he slashed fewer throats than Ted Bundy.

  • Logic

    Legal Issues not Mathematical

    Nice try at twisting the argument. Great Non sequitur.

    The issue was case frequency.

  • Just say'in

    Using 'Legal Issues Not Mathematical's' argument, it would seem that if all the defendants file for a stay, then it should be granted.

  • More Court Action

    Looks like someone else filed for a stay, but the court record summary does not say who filed.

    Looks like the defendants are trying to slow this whole thing down and place it on the back burner.

    Doubt if it will work though. The charges appear to be extraordinarily credible.

  • not so legal eagle

    Sounds to me that the charges are *not* extraordinarily credible, or else the case would have moved further along by now...

  • No Big Deal

    The defendants are just using all tactics afforded to them by the Rules of Civil Procedure. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • pre law

    Defendents lawyers are doing the right thing - just practicing due diligence. Too bad Administration didnt practice due diligence ie. Morgan and Simonetta.

  • current student

    anyone know exactly what's up with the Simonetta case? what's it about? I know it says "Contracts" in the case description, but what abut it?

  • Argus get on it

    We need more details!

  • Sorry.....

    ....there are no more details, just a few leaked emails......

  • A Civil Procedure

    Looks like Kannam's old lady and daddy have jumped on the 'STAY' bandwagon.

    125.00 03/26/2010 D MOTION FOR STAY
    as to Defs, Heather McCutchen & Advanced Device

  • Other Cases

    What kind of damages are Simonetta and Morgan requesting??

  • not so legal eagle

    I see that a "conference" is set for 4/12. What, exactly, does this mean? Are both sides to make concessions? Can a judgement be rendered if this is merely a "conference"? Please advise!

  • current student

    The argus has stated in a new story that the case (or parts of it) might be going to arbitration...

  • current student
  • Responder

    A conference is merely to outline how the case will be handled - e.g., calendar, lawyers, due dates, etc.

  • not so legal eagle

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • -

    Did Wes get the 3 million?

  • hmm

    No, and we won't.

  • Brian J. Glenn '91

    CT's Attorney General has joined Wesleyan's lawsuit against Kannam.

  • CT attorney general

    Im sure CT attorney general will give it a good fight just like he did in vietnam

  • Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

    Blumenthal's credibility not to high these days. Mainly because of the following statements he made (when he in fact never served in Vietnam but entered the reserves to AVOID the draft and seek deferrments from active duty).
    ""In Vietnam we had to endure taunts and insults, and no one said, 'Welcome home.' I say welcome home."

    "We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam."

    "When we returned, we saw nothing like this. Let us do better by this generation of men and women."

    "I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect. Whatever we think of war, we owe the men and women of the armed forces our unconditional support.""

  • Not So Legal Eagle

    Any truth to the rumor that the University has dropped its case against Kannam? If so, why hasn't the Argus reported on this?

  • David Lott, '65

    The Argus will report on this case if someone sends it a press release.

  • cls99

    Is this case dead? The arbitration must be done by now, I would think.

    Argus? An awfully big deal was made out of this, I would think that some kind of follow up or post mortem would be in order. How much did the University spend and how much did they recoup?


  • cls99

    I do know that the AG's case was thrown out. That was election politics, plain and simple. We are represented by a complete creep.

  • just a question

    From the case detail here:

    it would seem that a ruling just went against Wesleyan. Could someone at the Argus go down to the courhouse and find out what is happening?

  • what I know

    The link above is to the public lawsuit, not the arbitration. Wesleyan got trashed in the arbitration. They have to pay Kannam, not the other way around. This also means the case against all the other people will go nowhere. Wes is not happy and is appealing the arbitration, but that's almost impossible to do.

    Good this Wes spent all that dough on this.

  • It's Just A Little Peyton Place - Tenured Radical - The Chronicle of Higher Education

    [...] is seeking to recover is a mere smear $3M. Read the full story, as scooped by the campus newspaper here. It’s pretty [...]