Skip to main content

Oil Trader Was Totally Just Messing When He Suggested Having A Judge Killed

  • Author:
  • Updated:

That was a joke people took out of context. But he was serious about bribing the guy.

Two oil traders with ties to former international fugitive Marc Rich have been indicted in a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme that includes allegations of wire fraud and money laundering. Clyde Meltzer, of Houston, and Bernard Langley of the United Kingdom appeared in Houston federal court Wednesday to plead not guilty and seek release on bail. They have been in federal detention since Dec. 9.


During a Nov. 1 lunch meeting at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House in the Galleria, Meltzer allegedly discussed his frustration with trying to get a ship he owned and its crew released by Venezuelan authorities. He described having to pay nearly a million dollars over the previous six months to lawyers and to bribe prison guards to keep them from torturing the crew, according to testimony. He was also negotiating with a Venezuelan judge to make the case "go away." Meltzer allegedly joked "it would probably be cheaper to kill the judge than pay the fee," according to court testimony about the conversation, and said he could have the job done for as little as $150,000.

Two Oil Traders Held In Alleged Kickbacks [Chronicle]


Not Everyone Convinced Former Trader Meant "It Wasn't A Question Of If I Was Going To Kill You, Just Of When" In A Figurative Sense

A year or so a go, commodities trader Vincent McCrudden was arrested for some things he put on a company website and some emails he sent out. The former involved an "execution" list containing the names of a handful of financial regulators, which he asked readers to aid him in crossing off ("I need your help," he wrote. "There are just too many for me alone"). The latter included an email to a CFTC staffer that noted: “You fucking corrupt piece of shit! I have let so many of you fucking corrupt mother fuckers off the hook for doing this to my life. You my friend are not getting away with this. I am going to do this my way now and you, you corrupt mother fucking piece of shit are the first on my list! laugh mother fucker…I am going to make you a test case!” To that end, the chief operating officer of the NFA was told, “It wasn’t ever a question of ‘if’ I was going to kill you, it was just of when." Were these emails particularly colorful? Yes. Should anyone who received them (or had their name placed on The List) been actually worried about losing his/her life? McCrudden could see how maybe things might have been interpretted that way, but no. As he told a judge, “I wrote provocative language on my website that could have been perceived as threatening. I would never intentionally hurt or cause bodily harm to another human being." And yet, this is still happening: Vincent P. McCrudden, a former New York commodities trader, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison for threatening to kill federal financial regulators. McCrudden, 51, who pleaded guilty last year, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley in federal court in Central Islip, New York...McCrudden said he was being persecuted for fighting back against unfair regulatory actions that destroyed his career. In addition to trading commodities, he ran his own hedge funds...McCrudden’s legal and regulatory entanglements began in 2000, when he was criminally charged with masking shortfalls in statements to his hedge-fund investors. The government said he included in his results money he expected to get from a lawsuit after Sumitomo Corp. (8053) was accused of manipulating the copper market. Ex-Trader McCrudden Gets 28 Months in Prison for Threats [Bloomberg]