The hedge fund trader who was fired after hosting a controversial party in the Hamptons says the event was “good clean” fun that raised $100,000 for charity.
Brett Barna, a former trader at Moore Capital Management, told CNBC that while he regrets “certain aspects” of the July Fourth party in Bridgehampton, New York, the media coverage overlooked the fact that it was a peaceful, legal fundraiser for Last Chance Animal Rescue.
“I regret certain aspects of the party,” Barna told CNBC. “But.. this was about charity and we raised $100,000 for animal rescue and that’s a result I can be proud of.”
“The event itself was nothing like what you read about. Were there people drinking alcohol? Sure. Were there people in their bathing suits at a pool party? Yes. But it was good clean fun.”
Barna was fired from Moore Capital on July 7 after the New York Postreported that the anonymous owner of the mansion rented for the event was suing Barna for allegedly having 1,000 guests who trashed the yard and pool, wrecked furniture and stole art from the house.
Barna said only around 500 people attended and no one was allowed into the house or damaged the home’s interior. He hired a former local police chief and eight security staff to keep order.
“Nothing illegal happened, there weren’t even any complaints,” he said.
The whole controversy around the party was created by the man who rented him the home, Omar Amanat, Barna said. Amanat was arrested last week on fraud charges unrelated to the Hamptons house. Amanat is still believed to be in custody and couldn’t be reached for comment. His bail has been set for $2.5 million.
Barna said that he rented the home from Amanat for five days for $27,000 and paid up front. Yet Amanat demanded more money and when Barna refused, he said, Amanat took the story public.
“What this is all about is Mr. Amanat creating the most ridiculous story he can to pressure me into giving him more money,” Barna said.
Moore Capital said it fired Barna because his “personal judgment was inconsistent with the firm’s values.”
When asked if he had come out in hopes of getting his job back, Barna would only say: “There is a lot of facts that are going to keep coming out.”