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Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin: Winners

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Six years after their hedge funds collapsed, the former Bear Stearns managers have still not done anything wrong, outside of being bad at managing a hedge fund, an offense lacking in any sort of civil (or criminal) liability.

Ralph R. Cioffi and Matthew M. Tannin, two former Bear Stearns managers who were among the few executives to face a trial on criminal charges in the aftermath of the financial crisis, have won another legal victory.

Late on Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought against Mr. Cioffi and Mr. Tannin by Bank of America. The bank accused the two men of lying about the health of their hedge funds, which had invested heavily in subprime mortgage-backed securities that plummeted in value when the housing market collapsed….

In the case dismissed on Monday, Bank of America said the Bear Stearns managers deceived it by failing to disclose that the fund was ailing and had received heavy withdrawal requests in early 2007. The bank said that had it known about the fund’s problems, it never would have made the C.D.O.-squared deal.

Judge Nathan granted summary judgment, meaning that she dismissed the case before trial. In addition to ruling that no rational jury would rule for Bank of America on any of its claims, she said the testimony of one of the bank’s experts regarding its losses was “inherently unreliable.”

JPMorgan Chase was also named in the BofA lawsuit, and is also now off the hook for that one. But not for this one:

U.S. authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into whether several employees of JPMorgan Chase & Co tried to impede a regulatory investigation into alleged manipulation of power markets, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter….

The sources said investigators aim to determine whether individuals at JPMorgan - including three Houston-based employees - gave regulators all the information they needed to investigate JPMorgan's power market deals in California and the Midwest.

Deliberately withholding information from investigators or lying during interviews conducted as part of an investigation is considered obstruction of justice, a criminal offense.

Bank of America Suit Against Two Ex-Bear Stearns Executives Is Dismissed [DealBook]
Exclusive: JPMorgan subject of obstruction probe in energy case [Reuters]