FBI Cannot Get Over How Badly Hedge Funders Suck at Cover-ups

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SAC paterfamilias Steve Cohen Photo: Anthony Behar/Getty Images

Yesterday when feds unsealed insider-trading charges against three thirtysomething hedge-fund managers — including two former employees of SAC, Steve Cohen's $12 billion hedge fund — prosecutors fixated on the B-movie quality of the bumbling cover-up, which involved taking a plier to a hard drive and then dumping bits in random garbage trucks. But the FBI wanted in on the negging action as well. The dump-truck-and-pliers bit came from portfolio manager Donald Longueuil, who was secretly recorded by his SAC colleague turned informant, Noah Freeman. Samir Barai, the third portfolio manager whose charges were unsealed, was also undone by a co-conspirator turned informant, research analyst Jason Pflaum, who turned over an e-mail from Barai, who typed out and sent the words Shred as much as u can. But Barai himself ended up providing investigations with incriminating evidence, in the form of conversations he recorded to get around his severe hearing problem. (Yesterday, the judge had to speak loudly to Barai, who stood close to the bench, to tell him he was being released on a $1 million bond.) During the announcement of the bust, FBI assistant director Janice Fedarcyk said,

"The efforts to destroy evidence are laid out largely in the defendants' own words. For all their presumed sophistication, the defendants lacked a mobster's instinct for conversational discretion."

Just to be clear, you're admonishing them for not being better criminals?

Two hedge fund managers charged in insider-trading case, two others make plea deal: feds [NYP]