Prosecutors Want Tapes Out Of Chiasson Trial

Oct 23 2012 | 1:23pm ET

In their case against two accused hedge fund insider-traders, prosecutors are taking an unfamiliar approach to at least some wiretapped recordings: opposing their admission at trial.

Federal prosecutors in New York yesterday asked a judge to exclude several taped calls made by a pair of cooperating witnesses in the case. The defense team for Level Global Investors founder Anthony Chiasson and former Diamondback Capital Management portfolio manager Todd Newman has sought to have the calls, made by Jesse Tortora, Newman's former analyst, and Spyridon Adondakis, Chiasson's former analyst, admitted.

But prosecutors, who have used taped phone calls to great effect in winning dozens of guilty pleas and jury verdicts in their crackdown on insider trading, say these particular tapes should remain silent.

"The defendants have declined to indicate for what purpose they will seek to offer these exhibits at trial," prosecutors wrote. "The calls contain a mixture of incriminating and," according to the government, false "exculpatory statements by the out-of-court defendants."

Prosecutors said the calls were made following "significant publicity" about the insider-trading crackdown. On one of them, one of Chiasson and Newman's former co-defendants, Danny Kuo, is reportedly heard saying, "I have high suspicion that this phone line could be tapped."

Kuo pleaded guilty in April, one of six members of what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has called a "criminal club," to do so.

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