Bear’s Cioffi Hires Oliver North, Dick Grasso Lawyer

Jul 23 2008 | 9:35am ET

Ralph Cioffi, the former Bear Stearns hedge fund manager indicted for fraud and insider trading, has pledged to defend himself against those charges. And he is certainly preparing to do just that.

Cioffi has added high-profile defense attorney Brendan Sullivan to his legal team. Sullivan, of the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly, has represented the likes of Iran-Contra scandal figure Oliver North, former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso in his battle with the New York State Attorney General’s office, and two former Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of sexual assault.

Cioffi, who has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges and is currently out on bail, is already represented by a legal team led by Edward Little of the New York law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

Cioffi and co-fund manager Matthew Tannin were charged with conspiracy and securities fraud related to the collapse of their two mortgage-backed securities hedge funds, which cost investors $1.5 billion. Cioffi faces 40 years in prison and Tannin faces 20 years; Tannin’s attorney has said the men are being made scapegoats for the credit crisis.

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