Kinnucan Pleads Not Guilty In Insider Case

Mar 14 2012 | 1:06pm ET

Accused hedge fund tipster John Kinnucan pleaded not guilty to insider-trading charges this morning.

Kinnucan entered his plea during a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan. The expert-network founder has been jailed in his hometown, Portland, Ore., since his arrest a month ago; he has been unable to meet the $5 million bail terms set by Batts.

Kinnucan is charged with conspiracy and securities fraud. Prosecutors say that Kinnucan obtained confidential corporate information from insiders and passed it along to clients of his Broadband Research, among them a number of prominent hedge funds. Two of those alleged sources have already pleaded guilty to tipping Kinnucan and are cooperating with the investigation.

Prosecutors said today that they would turn over thousands of wiretapped conversations to Kinnucan's lawyers. The black humor is not likely lost on Kinnucan, who gained a modicum of fame in October 2010 when he e-mailed about 50 clients to inform them that the FBI had approached him about wearing a wire and that he had refused. Among the recipients were employees of hedge funds Coatue Management, Citadel Investment Group, Maverick Capital and SAC Capital Advisors.

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