Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Largest Insider-Trading Case Ever?

Great story via WSJ. Insider trading has become a 'hot-button' issue lately but it's really interesting to see how investigators try and get defendants to cooperate in these cases.
Mr. Kinnucan says that after the two agents confronted him on his porch, he invited them into his kitchen. "It felt like a street mugging," he says. "They were hammering me from either side."
"They said they were going to arrest me, but said, 'We think you can help us,'" he recalls. "There is this guy in particular we are after," he remembers them saying. "We want you to have a conversation with him and record it." He says he told the agents he wanted to get a lawyer, and that they told him if he didn't cooperate, "there will be trouble."
Later that night, at 12:56 a.m., Mr Kinnucan sent the email—something he says he was contractually required to do by his agreement with them. Calling the agents "fresh faced eager beavers," Mr. Kinnucan described the visit and said he believed the agents had been recording his calls "for quite some time." He said he had "declined the young gentleman's gracious offer to wear a wire and thus ensnare you in their devious web."
One of those FBI agents was David Makol, known among prosecutors for his skills in insider-trading investigations and his ability to "flip," or gain the cooperation of, defendants to help agents gather evidence.
Mr. Makol had flipped one Galleon defendant in a Starbucks near his home in Connecticut, in part by confronting him with an array of details about his life and work, people familiar with the matter say. Such tactics can cause individuals to feel they have no choice but to cooperate, law-enforcement officials say.
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