A New York asset manager, accused of running unregistered commodity pools, was charged with threatening to kill U.S. financial regulators, including the heads of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Vincent P. McCrudden, 49, was arrested yesterday at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey after returning from Singapore, said Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn, New York. McCrudden appeared today in federal court in Central Islip, New York, and was held without bail, Nardoza said.
The arrest occurred less than a week after a shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, killed six people, including a federal judge, and left U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded. McCrudden threatened the lives of 47 current and former officials of the CFTC, the SEC, the National Futures Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, according to a criminal complaint unsealed today.
“Go buy a gun, and let’s get to work in taking back our country from these criminals,” McCrudden wrote on one of his websites, according to the complaint. “I will be the first one to lead by example.”
Last month, the CFTC sued McCrudden, Alnbri Management LLC and Managed Accounts Asset Management LLC, saying he solicited customers for his Hybrid Fund II without being registered with the commission. McCrudden was the owner and sole officer of the two companies, according to a CFTC statement.
On Dec. 16, McCrudden sent an e-mail to a CFTC attorney on his case, identified in the complaint as “T.M.” One of the lawyers is Timothy J. Mulreany, according to the CFTC statement.
“You’re not getting away with this….Merry Christmas!” he wrote, according to the complaint. He also said he was “coming after” CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.
About 16 hours later, McCrudden sent a threatening e-mail to the other CFTC lawyers listed on the press release announcing the lawsuit, according to the complaint.
“The timing for his latest literary efforts is particularly bad,” his lawyer, Bruce Barket of Garden City, New York, said in a phone interview. “Other than that, he’s a decent, hard-working guy who doesn’t pose a threat to anybody. It’s unfortunate but not a crime.”
John Nester, a spokesman for the SEC, and Scott Schneider, a CFTC spokesman, declined to comment.
A statement from Lynch, the prosecutor, calls McCrudden a former commodities trader.
“Once the language lends itself to imminent lawlessness, and that lawlessness is about to erupt, then it no longer has the protection of free speech,” said Michael Orozco, a lawyer in Newark, New Jersey.
Orozco, who isn’t involved in McCrudden’s case, represented Internet radio host Hal Turner in two trials for threatening the lives of three federal judges, both of which ended up in hung juries. Turner was convicted in August at the third trial and sentenced last month to 33 months in prison.
The CFTC said McCrudden lived in Dix Hills, New York. He has been living in Singapore for the last few months, according to the criminal complaint. Before that, he had been in an apartment in Long Beach, New York, according to the government.
The website of Long Beach-based Alnbri had an “Execution List” of 47 current and former officials of the CFTC, SEC, Finra and the National Futures Association, including Gensler, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and Finra Chairman Richard Ketchum, according to the complaint.
‘Got to Go!”
“These people have got to go!” the site said, according to the complaint. “And I need your help, there are just too many for me alone.”
On Dec. 20, he updated the site to offer payments of as much as $100,000 “for personal information on the people named on this site, and also validation and proof of punishment against these criminals,” according to the complaint.
The pages appear to no longer be on the site.
McCrudden has been the subject of enforcement or disciplinary proceedings at the National Futures Association and Finra, and responded to them with “threatening communications,” according to the complaint.
In a Sept. 30 e-mail, writing as Gensler, he threatened to kill an employee of the futures association, according to the complaint. “You’re a Dead Man!” the subject line read, prosecutors said.
‘Question of When’
“It wasn’t ever a question of ‘if’ I was going to kill you, it was just a question of when,” the e-mail said.
The language and the fact that the message came from Singapore suggest that McCrudden wrote it, according to the complaint.
McCrudden faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on each of two counts he’s charged with, according to the statement from Lynch, the U.S. attorney. His next court appearance is Jan. 27, said Nardoza, Lynch’s spokesman.
“Those who threaten injury or worse to the lives of others will be promptly investigated and vigorously prosecuted,” Lynch said in the statement.
The criminal case is U.S. v. McCrudden, 10-mj-01503, and the civil case is U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. McCrudden, 10-cv-05567, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip).
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