Friday, 22 August 2014
Last updated 1 hour ago
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."
Aug 4 2014 | 7:42am ET
By now, U.S. and international subscribers have received their home or office delivery of the special 500th issue of Futures magazine. You can too!—a very special offer follows. The issue is the largest in years—filled with the best trading strategies and stories from 43 years of being the primary publication for commodity, stock, options and forex traders. Read more…
The July/August 2014 issue is our largest in years—filled with the best trading strategies and stories from 43 years of being the primary publication for commodity, stock, options and forex traders.
The Alpha Pages Editor's Note