John Kinnucan

Michael Steinberg was furious after receiving an email in October 2010 from a research consultant he had hired, according to the lawyer for the SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager. In the email, the consultant told his clients that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had contacted him about insider trading. Mr. Steinberg called the consultant and made him cry, according to the lawyer, Barry Berke. Mr. Steinberg was irate about the possibility that the consultant, John Kinnucan, had been feeding him illegal inside tips, Mr. Berke said. “[Mr. Steinberg said] ‘is this inside information you’re giving me?'” Mr. Berke told U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan on Monday. “And [Mr. Kinnucan] is like ‘no, no, I swear, Mike, it’s not.'”…The content of Mr. Steinberg’s conversation with Mr. Kinnucan came out in another conversation that was recorded at the behest of the FBI. In that one, former SAC analyst Jon Horvath told ex-Level Global Investors LP analyst Spyridon “Sam” Adondakis that his boss, Mr. Steinberg, had ripped into Mr. Kinnucan after receiving the email. Unknown to Mr Horvath at the time, Mr. Adondakis was cooperating with the FBI, according to prosecutors. [WSJ]

You’re a former expert network analyst who ran a boutique firm called Broadband Research, counting hedge funds like SAC Capital, Citadel, and Maverick as your clients. In November, the Feds tried to use you as a pawn in their three-year insider trading investigation, by approaching you as you were “sipping wine on the porch,” threatening to arrest you, and then suggesting that rather doing so, they’d like you to “help” them by wearing a wire while speaking to “one guy in particular” they were after. Despite being told that if you didn’t cooperate, there’d be “trouble,” you told them to go fuck themselves, and not only that, you fired off an email to clients (not making use of the bcc field), informing them that “Two fresh faced eager beavers from the FBI showed up unannounced (obviously) on my doorstep thoroughly convinced that my clients have been trading on copious inside information. (They obviously have been recording my cell phone conversations for quite some time, with what motivation I have no idea.) We obviously beg to differ, so have therefore declined the young gentleman’s gracious offer to wear a wire and therefore ensnare you in their devious web.” Basically, you saved their asses.

Fast forward a few months and you’ve been forced to shutter your research firm and have run into some tough times. One of your former clients, Maverick Capital you say, still owes you money and you’re more than a little miffed the founder hasn’t responded to your most recent email in which you wrote:

“Yo Lee [Ainslie] homey, sorry to break it to you, but looks to me likely that Maverick will soon be charged with insider trading. Just thought I’d let you know…Regards, JK.”

What do you do? You get a guy known for delivering results to send a message. Read more »

  • 03 Dec 2010 at 1:43 PM

Let John Kinnucan Tell You About His Clients

You know when you get wind of someone speaking flatteringly of you to a third party and rather than be happy they’re saying nice things, want to die because you are embarrassed that people know you know that person? And every time you’re told so and so was singing your praises want to be like, “God damn it, just shut up, stop talking about me to people”? That’s probably how John “Let me tell you about the time I refused to wear a wire for the Feds” Kinnuacan’s clients are feeling right about now. Read more »

“I’m happy to do it because I think it’s going to demonstrate my innocence,” Kinnucan said of the request for information. Will he be happy with all the other fun stuff the feds likely have in store for him after he refused to wear a wire while conversing with SAC Capital, notified his clients of the investigations, and instead of choosing to put a lid on it, pimped his story out to the highest bidder(s)? Stay tuned!

  • 29 Nov 2010 at 3:30 PM

John Kinnucan: “Why I Chose Not to Wear a Wire”

In a piece penned for Dealbook, Broadband Research founder John Kinnucan, the guy who was sipping wine on his front porch one fine afternoon when the Feds showed up and asked him to wear a wire while having conversations with a client at SAC Capital, explains why he told them to piss off. Read more »

“Here’s our card, we need to hear from you in 48 hours, if we don’t there will be trouble for you,” Strategy Session guest John Kinnucan recounted being told by two representatives from the FBI when they showed up to his home and tried to get him to agree to record a conversation with a client from SAC Capital.

“And they haven’t made trouble for you I guess, have they?” David Faber asked.

“Well, uh, my business has been destroyed, so…” Read more »

So! As previously mentioned, federal authorities are wrapping up a little project they’ve been working on for the past three years involving alleged insider trading, hedge funds, that sort of thing. The government claims the probes could “eclipse the impact on the financial industry of any previous such investigation” and that charges may come before the end of this year and perhaps as early as this week. Naturally it’s unclear as to exactly who the Feds are hoping to name as participating in the passing or receiving of material, non-public information but some educated guesses can be made, based on the accosting of one analyst, Jonathan Kinnucan.

Kinnucan, the founder of boutique firm Broadband Research LLC, was “sipping wine on his front porch in Portland, Oregon” when two men in suits popped out of a gray sedan and quite aggressively accused him of sharing inside information with his clients (hedge and mutual funds, mostly). They threatened to arrest him but then, changing to a friendly tone, suggested that things could be made better for Kinnucan if he did them a favor. “We think you can help us,'” he recalls. “There is this guy in particular we are after,” he remembers them saying. “We want you to have a conversation with him and record it.” Read more »