Rabbi 'Pleads Guilty,' But Not To Blackmailing SAC's Cohen

Nov 3 2010 | 2:57am ET

In his client's defense, the lawyer for the rabbi accused of trying to extort $4 million from SAC Capital Advisors' Steven Cohen essentially pleaded guilty—in his opening statement.

Of the blackmail scheme Milton Balkany is accused of hatching, Benjamin Brafman told the jury, "He merely engaged in a stupid plan. You want to find him guilty for using bad judgment?"

"For that, we plead guilty today."

Brafman said Balkany sought the money from Cohen—in exchange for the silence of a Jewish felon who claimed to have proof SAC had been involved in insider trading in 2004 and 2005—because he knew Cohen was both Jewish and "rich."

According to Brafman, investigators, with SAC's cooperation, kept Balkany "coming back and talking, so that, eventually, they'd conclude he committed a crime."

The only problem with Brafman's argument, according to prosecutor Jesse Furman, is that Balkany did commit a crime when he tried to blackmail Cohen into donating the money to a pair of struggling Orthodox Jewish schools in Brooklyn, one of which Balkany served as dean.

Furman said they had Balkany on tape accepting the checks from a SAC lawyer—part of a sting operation—and assuring him that "Mr. Cohen and SAC were in the clear."


In Depth

Will Liquid Alts’ Performance Sustain Future Asset Flows?

Aug 25 2014 | 10:34am ET

Liquid alternative investment funds saw the highest percentage of capital inflows...

Lifestyle

Hedgies, Economists and Musicians Mingle At Milkin Mixers In Hamptons

Aug 25 2014 | 6:00am ET

Leave it to Michael Milken to bring some gravitas and sweat to the Hamptons -- along...

Guest Contributor

Looking Ahead: What’s In Store For Managed Futures?

Aug 22 2014 | 12:52pm ET

The last five years were phenomenal for investors in equity indices. Will the next...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

July/August 2014 Cover

The time was right

Commodities/Futures magazine launched at the precipice of a revolution in the futures industry—really a revolution in the idea of risk management—that would move it from a small niche industry to ...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.