Skip to main content

I Have To Draw You: Reflections Of A Courtroom Illustrator

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Ex-SAC Capital PM Mike Steinberg seemed pretty surprised when he was found guilty of insider trading.

Ms. Williams recalled the day when Michael S. Steinberg, a portfolio manager at the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, was brought before a Manhattan judge to be read the insider trading charges against him. The police escorted him, in handcuffs, into the Lower Manhattan courthouse through the main elevators rather than the usual back way leading into the courtroom. When Mr. Steinberg emerged from the main elevators, there was a look of utter shock on his face. “Being caught is so out of their wildest dreams,” she said.

Danielle Chiesi was a vision in pink.

The Wall Street soap opera witnessed by Ms. Williams over the years has been filled with a colorful cast of defendants, including beauty queens, domestic divas and presumed upstanding community leaders. Consider Danielle Chiesi, an analyst who was caught on tape by the F.B.I. passing on illegal tips to Mr. Rajaratnam. “Being in her presence is memorable,” Ms. Williams said, recalling the former beauty queen’s pink silk sleeveless dress, matching pink pumps and pearls that she wore on the day of her sentencing. “It was so out of place for court.” Ms. Chiesi is best remembered for comparing the feeling of passing on illegal information to an orgasm. “It’s mentally fabulous,” she later said.

Lloyd Blankfein is the kind of guy you just want to squeeze and cuddle and put in your back pocket so you can take him home.

Then there are scenes that never make it into the papers or onto a canvas. Etched in Ms. Williams’s memory is the testimony of Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman, at Mr. Gupta’s trial. He was funny and engaging, captivating the jury with his charisma, she recalled, but he was also maddeningly difficult to draw because he never stopped moving. During part of his testimony, he played with a rubber band, rolling it around his fingers, until he noticed Ms. Williams drawing him. He smiled and stopped.

Capturing on Canvas the Downfall of Wall Street’s Criminals [Dealbook]


Billions Recap: I Want To Know What Stock I'm Running Up His A$$

Short squeezes, and slum lords, and Metallica, oh my!

Rajat Gupta Defense Team: You Think Our Client Would Pass Inside Information To A Guy Who Didn't Even Have The Decency To Invite Him To His Birthday Party?

What motivates people to share material non-public information with a person they know will use it for profit? For some, it's simply about greed. For others, it's about the thrill. For yet others, it's about pillow talk. For Rajat Gupta, the McKinsey director currently on trial for allegedly passing inside information to Raj Rajaratnam, it's about friendship, according to prosecutors who are trying to make the case that Raj and Rajat were the best of buds and that's what buds do. They they back each other up when they drunkenly hit on the girlfriend of the wrong guy at the bar, they stand up as best men at each others' weddings, they pick up the phone and say "Buy GS" when they know for a fact Warren Buffett is about to do so, too. And although attorneys representing Gupta don't deny the two were thick as thieves, they argue that while perhaps back in the day Rajat would have provided useful information to Raj, there is no way he would have done so after Big R twice violated the bonds of friendship. In the first instance, there was this: Defense attorneys have argued that Messrs. Gupta and Rajaratnam had a falling out in fall 2008 after Mr. Gupta lost his entire $10 million investment in a fund managed by Mr. Rajaratnam and therefore wouldn't have passed along inside information...The precise timing of their relationship's deterioration could be crucial in proving Mr. Gupta's guilt or raising doubts in the minds of jurors about whether he conspired to commit securities fraud...Defense attorneys have said Mr. Gupta was furious at Mr. Rajaratnam in the fall of 2008, when Mr. Gupta's $10 million investment in a fund called Voyager Capital Partners Ltd. evaporated. According to Mr. Kumar's testimony, Mr. Gupta felt Mr. Rajaratnam's negligence had allowed Voyager to collapse. And then this happened: