A New York money manager with a long history of legal battles with the government has been charged with threatening to kill 47 U.S. officials, including the nation's top securities and commodities regulators.
Vincent McCrudden, 49, last month allegedly posted online an "execution list" naming officials, including Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler.
Federal prosecutors said the threat came shortly after the CFTC brought an enforcement action accusing the former commodities trader and two of his companies with operating unregistered investments.
McCrudden threatened officials in emails and web postings at the SEC, CFTC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the National Futures Association, authorities said.
"Go buy a gun, and lets get to work in taking back our country from these criminals," McCrudden allegedly wrote, in a statement calling for the four regulators to be abolished. "I will be the first one to lead by example."
The arrest comes amid heightened concern for the safety of public officials after last Saturday's mass shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson, Arizona. Six people died, including federal judge John Roll.
"This is a crime of violence," Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Caffarone said at a Friday afternoon hearing in the federal court in Central Islip, New York.
McCrudden, looking haggard and dressed in blue jeans and a black fleece sweatshirt, was denied bail at the hearing. He did not enter a plea.
"The allegations in this complaint are incredibly frightening and intimidating to any public official," U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle said at the hearing.
Boyle called the content of McCrudden's alleged emails and postings "a real threat, as far as this court is concerned."
McCrudden has worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years, specializing in commodities, derivatives and foreign exchange, according to his biography on the website of his company, Alnbri Management LLC.
The government said McCrudden, of Dix Hills, New York, has been living for the last few months in Singapore.
He was arrested on Thursday at Newark-Liberty International Airport and faces counts of transmitting death threats. Each is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Bruce Barket, a lawyer for McCrudden who described himself as a long-time friend, told the judge his client was "a frustrated litigant who has a penchant for vulgarity." The lawyer also said McCrudden does not own a gun.
"He is at times ill-mannered and short-tempered and not very articulate in terms of expressing himself," Barket said in an earlier telephone interview. "But the idea that he was actually threatening somebody is ludicrous."
McCrudden was also charged in 2002 with 15 counts of felony mail fraud relating to his alleged preparation of financial statements that inflated the value of various investments, but was acquitted by a jury, court records show.
ReutersLast Mod: 15 Ocak 2011, 12:07