It’s hard to tell whether insider trading is actually running rampant, or just arrests. The latest alleged schemers to be charged are Wilson Sonsini attorney Matthew Kluger and trader Garrett Bauer, who stand accused of amassing $32 million in illegal profits. Federal agents allege they looted proprietary information from white-shoe law firms like Cravath and Skadden. Based on transcripts of wiretaps, the two allegedly took the standard measures to avoid getting caught, including junking hard drives and tossing a potentially incriminating iPhone. But when it occurred to Bauer that his fingerprints might be on the $175,000 he withdrew from a series of ATMs in Manhattan to pay an accomplice, the creativity set in. An out-of-the-box thought first occurs to him while on the phone with said (alleged!) accomplice:
Bauer: I’d almost, you know, you know what, if you feel better burn the money and I’ll give it back to you.
Alleged accomplice: Burn it?
Bauer: I would burn it in a fire … like if there’s any chance of us getting caught.
But the accomplice, who hid the many, many dollar bills at his cousin’s house, paid no heed to the note of terror in Bauer’s tone or the possibility of a raid:
Naturally. The investigators may have put in some time tracing a multimillion dollar scheme all the way back to 1994. But the prospect of looking into all those cousins? They’re likely to just give up and go home. Later, the two masterminds discussed which was a better laundering method to get rid of fingerprints: putting the bills through a washing machine or Bauer’s suggestion, “you giving it to me and me wiping every bill down or something.”