Indicted Hedge Fund Manager Wasn’t Going To Let A Little Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, Identity Theft Charges Keep Him From Doing What He LovesBy Bess Levin
He just had to get a little creative is all. A lot of people say that trading is their passion but when push comes to shove they’d give it up in a second if A) they lost their Bloomberg terminal and B) a judge ordered them to do so. Neither of these things were going to hold James Michael Murray down.
James Michael Murray was arrested in 2012 and charged with wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identify theft. According to the indictment, Murray executed a scheme to defraud more than $700,000 from Chase Paymentech, a credit card processing company. Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Murray with defrauding investors who put money in his hedge fund, Market Neutral Trading, by giving them a bogus audit report that exaggerated the financial performance of the fund. For Murray, who is now held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, it is the second time he has been returned to custody after violating the terms of his release pending trial. A number of conditions were placed on Murray’s second release. He was required to reside at a halfway house in San Francisco, and he was prohibited from having access to a cellphone or the Internet or trading through third parties. He has no money of his own left with which to trade.
Murray was allowed to use a computer at his attorney’s office on the condition that the computer afforded him no Internet access. A search of that office by the FBI on Feb. 26, however, revealed that Murray had hidden an ASUS Nexus tablet computer in the ceiling of the small conference room he was allowed to use at Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, according to court records. FBI Special Agent Brian Weber requested the search warrant after receiving a tip from another resident of the halfway house. The resident, a convicted bank robber, said he purchased the computer tablet for Murray at his request…According to the witness, Murray told him he couldn’t buy the tablet himself because he spent all his time at the law firm and had escorts between the halfway house and the law firm. Murray told the witness that at the law firm he was allowed to work alone in a conference room with the door closed and that no one ever entered the room without knocking first. Murray said he hid the tablet in the ceiling tile when he left the firm each night, in case he was searched at the halfway house.
This time around he did it with a tablet, but he could’ve just as easily made things happen with some shoe leather, a toothpick, and a pack of Bubblemint gum.