Criminals or Scapegoats?

by Derek Loosvelt | June 19, 2008

Two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers—Ralph Coiffi and Matthew Tannin—are facing criminal charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire tapping. (Coiffi’s also been accused of insider trading.) Prosecutors say Coiffi and Tannin knew the funds were about to tank but failed to tell investors, hoping to prevent investment dollars from being withdrawn. Meanwhile, defense attorneys maintain that the former Bear insiders did nothing wrong and are being treated as scapegoats for the subprime fallout—perhaps only because their funds collapsed first, kicking off the crisis last summer.

I’m no lawyer, but if the e-mails that the FBI has culled from Coiffi and Tannin’s computer hold up in court, it looks like the two are in a heap of trouble. (For more on the indictments as well as the e-mail evidence, check out Fortune’s piece on the charges here.)

What do you think? Guilty or innocent? Should these guys go down? Are there others next in line?

Let us know where you stand and what you think by commenting below.

Filed Under: Finance


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