Prosecutors Can Lie Before Knocking Down The Door But Only If They Don’t Need To

Preet Bharara may have gilded the lily a bit but NBD.
By United States Department of Justice ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Trust me. By United States Department of Justice [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

December 10, 2014, is a day that lives in infamy, at least for Preet Bharara. It was the day on which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals nuked his life's work, setting Level Global Investors co-founder Anthony Chiasson free after finding he’d put enough bodies between himself and the sources of his inside dirt to make his insider trading not illegal (about which the court has since changed its mind). This got Level Global’s other co-founder thinking: “If my former partner didn’t do anything wrong, why the hell did Preet Bharara and his goons at the FBI decide to destroy my business, in no small part by lying about me in the search warrant application? Maybe some of those people should help make me whole, especially since I’m basically collateral damage in their crusade against Steve Cohen? For goodness' sakes, I had to move from 740 Park to slum it in a Jared Kushner building! Downtown!”

Well, in spite of some auspicious early signs, the answer is: No. Because, sure, the Feds used some less-than-truthful statements from one of Ganek’s employees to win that search warrant, but even if they hadn’t, they still would have gotten the search warrant and made their unannounced little visit.

The appellate judges said it didn’t matter whether law enforcement officials used a false statement from a Level Global employee to obtain a warrant to search the firm because the statement wasn’t necessary to establish probable cause….

Ganek “was a sophisticated trader who would likely know without needing to be told that the sort of information being conveyed -- e.g., future projections provided in advance of earnings announcements -- was not yet public and could not be obtained without the aid of an insider,” the court added.

Fund Executive Ganek Can’t Sue Prosecutors for Firm’s Demise [Bloomberg]