Saturday, 20 December 2014
Last updated 23 hours 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."
Dec 1 2014 | 10:21am ET
As 2014 winds down, Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services executives took some time to share their outlook on trends facing the industry in 2015. Read more…
Jeff Sprecher was simply looking for a platform to trade energies when launching ICE 14 years ago but it has grown to reach the pinnacle of both the listed futures and equities world.