As previously discussed, one major focus of the government’s insider trading cases du jour is the use of primary networks, whose information those on the prosecution side argue is just too good. Among all the expert network analysts charged, one stands out- Winifred Jiau. The best of the best, Jiau seems to have worked with everyone who’s been accused of trading on material non-public information and for good reason- her information, according to clients, was “precise to the decimal point.” And unlike other expert network analysts, who perhaps weren’t as good or just didn’t know their worth, Jiau was well-aware of just how much her trader friends needed her, and acted as such. In the opinion of former SAC Capital PM Noah Freeman (who pleaded guilty in April, after working with the government to turn over his ex best friend and colleague Donald Longueuil), this was like a bitch.
“Despite her information being very, very accurate, she was very difficult to work with,” said Mr. Freeman, an articulate and confident 35-year-old Harvard College graduate. Among the issues he said that he had with Ms. Jiau: She could be rude, it was hard to get a hold of her and she often canceled meetings at the last minute.
And yet, he couldn’t quit her. When “Poohster” (apparently Freeman and Co’s nickname for Jiau) said jump, Freeman asked how high. Similarly, when Poohster said “buy me an iPhone,” buy me a gift certificate a clothing store no wait I meant the Cheesecake Factory,” and “buy me a bunch of lobsters,” Freeman said “how many,” “for how much,” and “how would you like them delivered?”
In addition to the cash compensation, Mr. Freeman said that he and Samir Barai, another hedge fund manager who has pleaded guilty, provided Ms. Jiau with presents, including three iPhones. There was also a gift certificate to a clothing boutique “that we canceled at her request and replaced with a $300 gift certificate to The Cheesecake Factory,” Mr. Freeman said. But the most amusing gift came in November 2007, when Ms. Jiau asked the Boston-based Mr. Freeman for 12 lobsters so she could serve them on Thanksgiving. “I remember this because it was an unusual time to serve lobsters,” Mr. Freeman said.
The government then showed Mr. Freeman an e-mail he had sent to his secretary Annie Gallin with the subject heading “Can you please send lobsters to Winnie?” “I know you hate her but we have to do this,” he wrote. “Sure thing,” Ms. Gallin replied. “I hope she gets sick from the lobsters.” “Me too (but not dying, just suffering),” Mr. Freeman responded.
Right, because if the Poohster were to die, where would Freeman get his information from? No, best to just wish a couple days of violent food poisoning on her. And then when she lets the lobsters perish at FedEx, rather than in boiling water, threaten (to your secretary) to call PETA on her ass and mention that you have a right mind to tell her where to go, before complying with her next demand within seconds of the request, lest she get angry.
Ms. Gallin dutifully sent Ms. Jiau a dozen lobsters from the Fresh Lobster Company in Gloucester, Mass., across the country to Ms. Jiau, who lived in Silicon Valley. But there turned out to be a slight problem. “Typical Winnie to leave 12 lobsters to die at FedEx,” Ms. Gallin wrote in a follow-up email. “She has no heart.” She does, however, appear to have chutzpah. The next month, Ms. Jiau asked for another dozen lobsters for Christmas, a request with which Mr. Freeman dutifully complied.
That’s right, Errand Boy. And don’t forget to pick up the dry-cleaning, presort the M&M’s into ROYGBIV piles, draft a summary of today’s episode of One Life To Live and feed the dog, or there’ll be hell to pay.