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Exclusive preview of book inspired by Garth Peterson

Garth Peterson's release date from federal prison is July 2013 (photo courtesy of CNBC)Jeremy Tarrier is Garth Peterson’s Boswell.

Peterson was the head of real-estate investments for Morgan Stanley in China. Last year he was sentenced to nine months in federal prison after admitting he conspired to violate the FCPA.

Prosecutors said Peterson collaborated with an unnamed Chinese official to misappropriate a multimillion-dollar stake in a Shanghai apartment building.

In a CNBC interview conducted shortly before his sentencing, Peterson said the deal was his way of recouping an investment that pre-dated his employment at Morgan Stanley.

“I never bribed anyone,” Peterson told CNBC.

To tell his side of the tale, Peterson turned to Tarrier, a U.K.-born, Singapore-based copywriter. Tarrier is currently working on a manuscript inspired by Peterson’s experiences, titled The Rise and Fall of an American in China.

He was kind enough to give us a preview.

                                                         *     *     *

From the foreword of Rise and Fall:

I first met Garth Peterson in the summer of 2010. The 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa, was in full swing with the cacophony of the "vuvuzela" horns blasting away for the full 90 minutes of each match…As with many of my countrymen, I enjoy a cold beer to go with my football match. I took a leisurely fifteen minute walk from my apartment to my local kopitiam (pronounced copy tee am) known to most of the regulars as "Y2K".

The kopitiam is to Singapore what the beer garden is to England. People congregate to have a few drinks, enjoy food from the various stalls, watch the large screen television and have a chat, often until the small hours of the morning.

As usual on a football night I made my way to Y2K about an hour before kick-off so I could get a good seat. As I walked in I saw the back of a blond-haired man hunkered down over a table strewn with empty bottles. That piqued my interest so I asked if I could join him at the table. He introduced himself as Garth Peterson and after the usual pleasantries we settled in to watch the match.

At half-time we…had a casual chat about what brought each of us to Singapore and what we were currently doing. The story that Garth revealed to me was so engaging that I don't remember a minute of the second half of the match.

I "casually" suggested to Garth that his story would make a good book from the perspective of a personal journey and as an insight into the evolution of the real-estate industry in China. Little did I realize it at the time but from that moment we would be spending a lot of time together as I interviewed him.

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In an upcoming post, Tarrier answers our questions about Garth Peterson and Rise and Fall.


Benjamin Kessler is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and managing editor of ethiXbase.

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