Perot Insider Trader Is A Hostage Rescue Hero

Tyler Durden's picture

According to the WSJ, Reza Saleh, whom the SEC identified as the individual behind the Perot option insider trading scheme, is an actual hero. 

Three decades ago, Mr. Saleh played a vital role in a bold mission to rescue two Perot employees who were being held hostage in an Iranian jail, according to people familiar with that effort. The rescue was the basis of the book "On Wings of Eagles," by Ken Follett.

"It would not have happened without him," said Ralph Boulware, a former employee of Electronic Data Systems, Mr. Perot's company at the time, who was part of the rescue team assembled by the Texas billionaire.

Mr. Boulware said Mr. Saleh, an Iranian employee of EDS at the time, led the mob that broke into the prison where the two EDS employees were being held, then helped shepherd them on a harrowing trip through Iran to escape over the Turkish border.

"Unsolicited and with no promise of reward, this guy put his life on the line and didn't flinch," Mr. Boulware said.

Furthermore, it turns out Mr. Saleh has been a close family friend of the Perot clan for many years:

A Perot family spokesman said Thursday that Mr. Perot and his son, who is chairman of Perot Systems, were "both saddened and stunned by this whole turn of events. Reza has been a close friend of the family for the last three decades, and it troubles them deeply to learn of these allegations."

Mr. Saleh's ties to Mr. Perot, who founded EDS, a computer services firm, in the early 1960s and later founded Perot Systems, go back decades.

According to Dallas County deed records, Mr. Perot sold a Dallas condominium to Mr. Saleh in January 1985. On the same day that transaction was recorded, Mr. Saleh resold the condo to another couple. Neither sale price could be determined.

Parkcentral and Perot Systems are independent, but there are ties between the two firms. The two share an address in Plano, Texas, and Steven L. Blasnik, Parkcentral's president, has been a director of Perot Systems since 1994. Another Perot Systems director, Thomas Meurer, was until last year a trustee of the Perot Family Trusts, which control Parkcentral, according to court filings.

The SEC complaint says Mr. Saleh had access to two work email accounts, including one at Perot Systems, and had contact with senior officials at Perot Systems. The complaint says Mr. Saleh was in contact with a director who isn't named but whom people familiar with the matter identified as Mr. Blasnik.

Mr. Saleh asked Mr. Blasnik about the planned takeover before it was public, according to the complaint. Then, after the SEC contacted the firm, the two men spoke again and Mr. Saleh said he traded based on information he gleaned from pieces he put together, but that no person told him about the deal, the complaint says. Mr. Blasnik hasn't been accused of wrongdoing. Mr. Blasnik couldn't be reached for comment.

It is somewhat sad that a man who, if the above account is true, had shown such courage in the past, ended up committing this rather glaring mistake. What can you do: the man takes risks, and has saved lives thanks to that. Yet it is no surprise that the SEC is unafraid to go after even one-time heroes, while completely ignoring the obviously daily malfeasance by much less worthy individuals throughout the financial oligarchy.

Until we see Schapiro's lawsuit which highlights the obvious perpetrators in the Bank Of America/Merrill criminal scandal by name, the SEC can be sure to keep receiving tips on how to do its job courtesy of a pro bono Zero Hedge. Ultimately, we may consider simply bidding for an outsourcing contract on all of the SEC's relevant enforcement activities, which we will then take to the general public. We are very curious to see what the outcome of that action would end up being.

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donatoloscalzo's picture

Tyler, as usual you said it perfectly..........


In my country they say:  "strong with the weak, weak with the strong........."


A perfect epitaph....................

monmick's picture

That is an interesting saying that I had never heard before. What country is that?

Anonymous's picture

The US I think!

Its a joke - the main targets, or prosecutions are Martha Stewart, Mark Cuban and this former hero. Celebrities and JOE 6p endure the wrath for petty crimes. The powerful commit heinous acts and get off scot free. I suppose it has always been the times of Andrew Jackson and The Redcoats before that.

That saying is so accurate.

All I gotta say is Michael Moore better ensure he is paid up with the IRS.

lizzy36's picture

The good news is movie is co-producded by brothers Weinstein.  One guess on who raised $1b for the Weinsteins. 

Miles Kendig's picture

The song remains the same.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I remember this. While it was supposedly non governmental, in fact the CIA was heavily involved. I wonder if this Reza guy is a member of the CIA "family" and his was a staged "arrest" to make it appear someone is doing something.

Don't forget, today is bank failure Friday. Who will it be this week? Will we hit 100 for the year? Tune in after 6 PM to find out.

lizzy36's picture

Looks like the small banks may be getting their own bailouts. Discussions ongoing...... One wonders if this isn't just a way to indirectly help out the FDIC?


And UnionBanCal is getting $2b from its parent company but this is pruely a precautionary move "to offset possible credit losses of economy weakens further"

sondog's picture

Wow I don't remember names that well, but I read that book. It is a fascinating read. Was it ever made into a movie? It should have been...

Anonymous's picture

The book was the shit aber the movie (with richard crenna) not so much. Lets see donatolo scalzo...maybe china?

Anonymous's picture

It's a bit ironic that you're so sympathetic to Mr. Saleh's plight after goading the SEC to pop him.

Anonymous's picture

Hear Hear

I suspect most ZH fans wouldn't mind if this story were killed.

Its a terrible irony when your heroes get caught in the ner meant to catch your foes.

berlinjames02's picture

But where does it end??? How long can people 'milk' their past deeds???

Look at Charlie Rangel- he won the Bronze Star for valor in the Korean War. Should he be allowed to break the rules for the rest of his life? If that's the case, then he is definitely taking advantage of his heroism. The Economist recently had this article:

IMO, we should be held accountable for each decision. The problem is the SEC turns a blind eye to massive insider deals, and then arbitrarily prosecutes petty crimes. To give the perception that you can't beat the system, EVERYONE needs to believe they will be prosecuted- otherwise they won't try to circumvent the system. (Think about the IRS or parking meters in a college town.) Even then, it isn't enough (Tim Geithner).


Anonymous's picture

Classic....SEC style...

Go after the small fish....

And go to work as a future employee of the BIG FISH....

The SEC needs to go POP!

jdun's picture

Greed is find and good for the society as long as it is taken moderately. Overdose on it and it will fuck you up.

Missing_Link's picture

It's not about "greed."  It's about dishonesty and violating a very specific rule: insider trading.

jdun's picture

You just described greed.

Anal_yst's picture

Selective prosecution and BS thresholds make "insider trading" a BS offense, in many cases. 

lizzy36's picture

Well said and very true!

Anonymous's picture

economy will weaken further if sliding market is not supported. after all stock market drives consumer confidence here !!

Missing_Link's picture

Hero to zero.  What a shame.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I bought my son, who is now 25, the original PlayStation when he was very young. He and I spent countless hundreds of hours together playing Legend of Zelda.

Your avatar brings back very fond memories. Thanks for the Friday trip down memory lane. 

Anonymous's picture

Zelda was never released on PlayStation

Anonymous's picture

The dude is over 50 - you expect him to remember the console?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You're correct. I always mix up the Nintendo and Playstation when discussing the systems. The only games I ever played were Zelda on Ninetendo and Sonic the Hedgehog on Playstation.

It's wasn't the games that were important to me. It was the time with my son.

Missing_Link's picture

My avatar is actually from Phantom Hourglass for Nintendo DS, which, to be blunt, really sucked.  They don't make Zelda games like they used to.

Missing_Link's picture

Or rather, they make 2D Zelda games exactly like they used to, which is the problem.

Plainview's picture

Moooooom, I told you it was the Nintendo-64 not the Playstation - you're so embarrassing Mom.

Anonymous's picture

To be a hero is to deserve a higher station in
life. Hero's are de facto leaders. Initially then, the heros drinks are paid for and great deference is made. However, as time and newness passes, it comes time for the
hero to grow into leader and pay the tab. Being unable to do so leaves a hero as truly a zero as his inability to lead leaves him worse off than if he had never been a hero at all and this was probably a motivating factor in such a ill conceived plan to obtain wealth and gain his status back.

Missing_Link's picture

Very insightful of you, Anonymous.  Do I know you?

Anonymous's picture

Until I see the details I won't believe the guys who
missed Madoff, especially Shapiro cuz she's a joke.

tinfoilhat's picture

Who does this guy think he is?  You can't just steal from the NWO Mafia's casino.


bugs_'s picture

Hey he's a risk taking guy!

Anonymous's picture

Sad if true. Those guys that Perot hired to go in there had gigantic fucking balls to do what they did. Even the man Ross himself risked has ass and went in there to help.
All those men are true heroes.

Careless Whisper's picture

Friday afternoon TD; Any reason why in the above 14 paragraphs that you posted, that you neglected to mention the alleged illegal profits to Saleh are $8,900,000 ?  It was clearly stated in the WSJ but somehow didn't make it to ZH.

trader1's picture

ZH already mentioned this in an earlier posting.

John Self's picture

Reminiscent of the Black Hawk Down hero who came home and was convicted on child molestation charges. Great men are capable of doing horrible things and horrible men are capable of doing great things.

mrhonkytonk1948's picture

My experience is that popular culture bubbles up from the bottom, ethical culture trickles down from the top.  I suggest that Saleh just have the SEC investigators fired if they try to out him.  Oh, wait.  Sorry.  Confused him with John Mack.

Miles Kendig's picture

Sauce for the goose. 

The SEC and CFTC cannot help themselves.  They are organizations lost to the process of subordination & corruption and these kinds of actions are all they are capable of.

I can only hope that perhaps Reza Saleh will become one more Miles Kendig and have some fun with the system and the storytelling of his journey through it.

ggm's picture

Too bad this Perot employee/hero wasn't better compensated. The Perot family is worth billions. It seems like they could have thrown Saleh a nice bone at some point so he wouldn't feel the need to resort to criminal activity.

Anonymous's picture

Call me a skeptic but according to this:

"The first thing the SEC looks at is the call option activity whenever there's a high profile merger or takeover.
Anything unusual is gonna be flagged".

Since I love you guys for keeping our eye on the SEC, and you're attracting a lot of eyeballs, create a regular feature, "unusual option activity". Since the SEC supposedly acts on this pretty quickly, it should be pretty easy to call them out when they drop the ball.

Otherwise I'm kinda thinking you clever guys frontran the SEC with your "challenge". Say it ain't so, I want to believe in you guys.

long-shorty's picture

You are 100% correct; the SEC has been all over several takeover-related insider-trading in options cases in the past 10 years. It has nothing to do with ZH; it's just something they systematically look for.

There are many good things about this site, but the cheerleading of ZH for something it had nothing to do with is just a mob feeling good about itself.

As for the shock that this guy could be a hero and then a criminal, there's a medical diagnosis for people who see others as all good or all bad: borderline personality disorder.




Anonymous's picture

Our hero sold all his contracts the next day. That's a red neon sign with a blinking arrow......pointing right at him !!

Such a waste of knowledge and intricate planning !!

Anonymous's picture

This is a red herring. Ex Delta Force guys were paid to 'rescue' these employees....

You Cant Handle the Truth's picture

Loyalty and bravery are #1 and #2 qualifications for a Fall Guy.