Lawyer: Hedge Fund Mgr. Accused Of Threats Not Guilty

Jan 18 2011 | 2:46pm ET

The hedge fund manager accused of threatening the lives of 47 government officials is not guilty, his lawyer said.

Vincent McCrudden did not enter a plea at his first court hearing on Friday. But his lawyer, Bruce Barket, told Reuters that "the idea that he was actually threatening somebody is ludicrous."

U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle in East Islip, N.Y., certainly doesn't seem to think so. He denied McCrudden bail, calling the allegations against him "incredibly frightening and intimidating to any public official."

According to the prosecutors, McCrudden posted an "execution list" with 47 names, including Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler, on his Web site. He also allegedly offered $100,000 for home addresses, phone numbers and background information of the "corrupt Government people."

"Go buy a gun and let's get to work in taking back our country from these criminals," McCrudden allegedly wrote. "I will be the first to lead by example."

McCrudden also allegedly sent death threats to individuals, targeting other staffers at the SEC, CFTC, FINRA and National Futures Association. In one e-mail, McCrudden allegedly told a CFTC lawyer of Gensler, "You can tell that fucking corrupt piece of Goldman Sachs shit (G.G.) I am coming after him as well."

"He is at times ill-mannered and short-tempered and not very articulate in terms of expressing himself," Barket said. But nothing more: The lawyer told the judge that McCrudden was merely a "frustrated litigant who has a penchant for vulgarity;" he added that his client doesn't own a gun.

McCrudden's outburst was apparently triggered by a CFTC enforcement action against him and two of his companies. He has been battling regulators for more than a decade, in October suing the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, NFA and several officials for harassment, seeking $1 billion.

His dispute with FINRA offers a glimpse into McCrudden's allegedly "threatening, abusive, harassing, coercive, intimidating and/or vulgar" behavior." The regulator in October 2009 suspended him from the industry for a month and fined him $10,000 for allegedly threatening his former employer, HedgeCap. HedgeCap eventually fired McCrudden over his behavior.

McCrudden was arrested last week after returning from Singapore, where prosecutors said he had been living for seveal months. Barket said he came back to New York to face the charges against him, which were filed in December but remained sealed until his arrest.

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