You might think that an agency that missed the Madoff fraud for years even after being told about it would have some sympathy for people who are, not bad guys necessarily, just a little sloppy on the whole looking-out-for-investors front. But you would be wrong:
Securities and Exchange Commission officials are trying to make it easier on themselves to hold more individuals responsible for wrongdoing during the financial crisis.
The good news, though, is that the way they’re going to make life easier for them is by reducing the stakes, pursuing negligence cases where they only have to show that someone acted “without reasonable care, even if there was no intent to harm investors.” The tradeoff for the SEC is: Read more »
Back in June, the lawyer for Winifred Jiau, expert network empress and accused insider trader, made a simple plea: “Put an end to this misguided prosecution,” Joanna Hendon said. “Send Ms. Jiau back to California, and to her dog.”
While the request might’ve played well with golden retriever lovers, the presiding judge didn’t care. He dragged things out another month, finding Jiau guilty over the summer and later on denying a request for acquittal or a new trial. Was Winifred the person you wanted to work with if you held an elastic view of securities laws and most certainly guilty of insider trading? Unquestionably: yes. Was she an individual who commanded sympathy, leniency or to whom you’d want to throw a bone? Those who benefited from her tips would be the first to tell you hell no.
Perhaps you’ve competed in on the job eating challenges before, maybe even successfully. A few Double Downs here, a couple of vending machine items there. Probably felt pretty good about yourself, too. “I can shovel food down my mouth like a pro,” you might have said to a colleague who was equally impressed by your feats of gastrointestinal fortitude, right? WRONG. You have zero reason to be cocky about your so-called binge-eating abilities, according to Sonya Thomas, AKA the Black Widow. Read more »
Winifred Jiau, a former consultant with expert networking firm Primary Global Research LLC, lost a post-trial bid to overturn her convictions on charges related to insider-trading. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff denied Jiau’s motion for an acquittal or a new trial in federal court in Manhattan, where she was convicted June 20 of conspiracy and securities fraud. The jury found her guilty of passing information regarding earnings and other matters on Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. to hedge fund managers Noah Freeman, a former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager, and Samir Barai, founder of New York-based Barai Capital Management LP. Jiau, of Fremont, California, faces as long as 25 years in prison when she is sentenced by Rakoff. [Bloomberg, earlier]
As we have learned from former SAC trader Noah Freeman’s extensive testimony in the government’s insider trading case du jour, expert network analyst Winifred Jiau had a tendency to act irrational, demanding and sometimes plain bitchy. Whether her behavior stemmed from a power trip associated with realizing she was the person anyone who was anyone in the insider trading space wanted to work or she was simply born that way is unclear but regardless, while it may have annoyed some clients, it didn’t stop anyone from buying what she was selling, i.e. inside information that was “precise to the decimal.” Freeman, for example, has go so far as to praise her tips as best in class while sharing that he fantasized about doing her bodily harm, such as when she would make what he felt to be absurd requests like two (2) iPhones, gift cards to clothing stores, the Cheesecake factory and a dozen Thanksgiving lobsters. Apparently, though, the stuff wasn’t for Jiau. She just needed it to land another member of her “club.” Read more »
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?” Read more »
“This year, my personal challenge is around being thankful for the food I have to eat. I think many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that and being thankful for what I have. This year I’ve basically become a vegetarian since the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself…[my] first kill was a lobster, which I boiled alive. The most interesting thing was how special it felt to eat it after having not eaten any seafood or meat in a while…on May 4…I killed a pig and a goat [by] cutting the throat of the goat with a knife, which is the most kind way to do it.”