There have been 49 folks (hedge-fund managers and others from expert networks) charged with insider trading over the past 18 months. Of the 49, forty-six have been convicted or entered guilty pleas. Outside of the Beltway, few have witnessed such rampant finger-pointing as these interconnected financial wizards scramble to plead early and often in order to win leniency in exchange for their testimony against other. The ones who were convicted, such as Raj Rajaratnam, made the mistake of going to trial as the bus-tossers lined up to testify.
Perhaps the most diabolical of these finger-pointing situations involves Danielle Chiesi, a former hedge-fund consultant who entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 30 months in prison, a $25,000 fine, and $540,000 in civil settlements. The irony is that the person who threw her under the SEC bus was her longtime lover, Mark Kurland. He entered his plea last year and got 27 months in prison. At her sentencing hearing, Ms. Chiesiâ€™s lawyers argued that â€œHe [Kurland] flattered her information-getting ability. At the same time, he belittled her understanding of complicated financial concepts.â€ Then later he offered his statements about her in exchange for a lesser sentence. It worked â€“ he is serving less time. You never trust the people you cheat with; they will throw you under the bus.