Sunday, 26 February 2017
Last updated 2 days ago
Mar 23 2011 | 2:19pm ET
The Long Island hedge fund manager accused of making death threats against almost 50 government officials is being jailed for things he didn't do, he said in his first jailhouse interview.
Vincent McCrudden is accused of threatening to kill several top regulators, including Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler. But he told Bloomberg News that his arrest in January was the result of a vendetta against him by those government agencies and others.
"I'm in jail on an e-mail I didn't write," he told Bloomberg News in a phone interview. McCrudden is being held in a south Queens, N.Y., detention center without bail.
The e-mail in question was a Sept. 30 missive to the National Futures Association's Daniel Driscoll, saying, "It wasn't ever a question of 'if' I was going to kill you, it was just a question of when." The e-mail appeared to originate from Gensler, but prosecutors say it was sent from Singapore, where McCrudden lived, and uses language familiar from other abusive McCrudden messages.
The "crux" of McCrudden's issues with federal regulators was his 2002 indictment on mail fraud charges, stemming from alleged false statements he made to investors in his Hybrid Fund. McCrudden was acquitted after less than one hour of deliberations, but was still denied NFA registration. The NFA's decision, backed by the CFTC, was upheld by a 2008 federal appeals court decision.
"I've executed hundreds of billions of dollars of financial instruments during my whole career," McCrudden told Bloomberg. "What I'm most proud of is I've never had a customer complaint.
No customer complaints, perhaps, but working with McCrudden is apparently no picnic. His own lawyer, Bruce Barket, concedes that he has been "writing and speaking to the industry" in an abusive manner for a "dozen or more years," but that he "has never taken a single step to harm anyone." After his firing in 2008 by Hedge Fund Capital Partners, McCrudden allegedly unleashed a "string of profanity-laced, threatening communications" on his former employers.
Barket's claims are backed by friends and family; one friend, Stanley Tobin, called McCrudden "warm and caring," lamenting his "extremely unwise approach in how he deals with his legal and regulatory issues." Even his ex-wire defends him, writing in a letter to the court, "although he is hot-tempered and lashes out at times with words, he has never done anything to harm another person."
Still, McCrudden's alleged words are chilling. Prosecutors say he posted an "execution list" with 47 names on his Web site, urging readers to "go buy a gun and let's get to work in taking back our country from these criminals." McCrudden promised to be "the first to lead by example."
"The most important thing to me, obviously, is the perception of due process and fairness," McCrudden said. He added, "I will defend 100% of what I've written."