From the age of six, Joseph F. 'Chip' Skowron III aspired to be a doctor. At Yale, he earned both a medical degree and a doctorate in molecular and cellular biology, then qualified for Harvard’s elite, five-year residency program.
Three years in, Skowron quit medicine for Wall Street. He and two partners started a group of health-care investment funds under the auspices of FrontPoint Partners LLC (MS), a hot new property in the exploding world of hedge funds.
Bloomberg reports that Skowron was soon making millions of dollars a year. He built a gabled, 10,000-square-foot home on three acres in the nation’s hedge-fund capital, Greenwich, Connecticut. He assembled a small fleet of pricey cars, including a 2006 Aston Martin Vanquish and a 2009 Alfa Romeo Spider 8C. He also spent vacation time engaged in Third World humanitarian causes.
Today, Skowron, 43, is serving a five-year term for insider trading at the federal prison at Minersville, Pennsylvania. At FrontPoint, Skowron lied to his bosses and law enforcement authorities, cost more than 35 people their jobs and stooped to slipping envelopes of cash to an accomplice. FrontPoint is gone. Morgan Stanley, which once owned FrontPoint, is seeking more than $65m from Skowron, whose net worth a year ago was $22m. Until he’s a free man, his wife of 16 years will have to care for their four children and Rocky, their golden retriever, on her own.
'I always detected that he was reaching for something to gratify him', said his half-sister, Cindi Kinney, in an interview. 'It was always something else, whether it was going to medical school or learning the financial industry. He was always setting goals and reaching them - and never being satisfied'.
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