Bear Stearns Execs Acquitted in N.Y. Fraud Trial; Siegal Comments for ABC News

11/10/2009

A Year After Financial Collapse, Two Hedge Fund Managers Beat Counts of Fraud, Conspiracy
ABC News

The criminal trial of two former Bear Stearns executives, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, ended with a not guilty verdict on all charges Tuesday.

The high flying money managers were charged with securities fraud and would have faced 20 years in prison if convicted...

The case captured the headlines in part because it is intimately tied to the financial crisis and the mortgage meltdown and because investor outrage still runs high.

But David Siegal, a former prosecutor and currently a partner with the law firm Haynes and Boone, cautioned that the trial may not have the wide-ranging implications many believe.

"This is not an indictment of Bear Stearns," he said. "This is a narrow case about two fund managers specifically relating to what they said to investors and others and about whether or not they had criminal intent."

During the trial, defense attorneys for Cioffi and Tannin argued that the prosecution overreached by making the case an allegory for all that was wrong on Wall Street.

This article excerpted from ABC News. To view the full text, click here.

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