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(Quartz)   Columnist: The SAC Captial insider trading case is nothing more than the government trying to punish people for the crime of being wealthy, and I should know, after all I did two years for some harmless accounting fraud thanks to a similar witchhunt   (qz.com) divider line 42
    More: Dumbass, SAC, accounting fraud, SAC Capital Advisors, insider trading, coin wrapper, Michael Steinberg, columnists  
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754 clicks; posted to Business » on 02 Dec 2013 at 2:20 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



42 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-12-02 12:27:21 PM
Being wealthy IS a crime if the gains you have made are ill-gotten.
 
2013-12-02 12:46:10 PM
I love that this guy doesn't even realize how much he gives the game away when he expresses his horror at the fact that some of the proletariat will be on the jury sitting in judgement of his fellow titan of industry:

There does not appear to be any of the infamous 1% on Steinberg's jury, which does include an unemployed home health care aide, a massage therapist, and a former postal service worker.

and Just for the record, this is what the guy writing the column actually went to jail for:

Jurors in Treacy's case returned their verdict in four hours in May. Prosecutors said Treacy backdated options at New York-based Monster, the world's largest online-recruiting company, by treating them as if they were granted on dates when Monster's stock price was at or near a periodic low. None of the grants resulted in a compensation expense, as the law requires, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Treacy earned at least $14.5 million from the scheme, including profits from his exercise of backdated options and bonus payments after he reached company financial targets.

Monster reported in 2001 that its net income was $69 million when it was really $3.4 million after options expenses were recorded, prosecutors said. The company said in December 2006 that it had overstated earnings by $271.9 million in the previous nine years because of improperly recorded option grants. Prosecutors said the company understated compensation by $339 million.

Stock Fraud and the wholesale looting of a publicly held company basically.


About which this punk has the gall to say (of his own trial):

My more than hard-earned wealth on trial was played aloud frequently for the low-income jury. That being the world I rose from, I empathized with their daily struggles but was concerned with the way the prosecution was inviting them to punish my success.
 
2013-12-02 12:54:01 PM

SurfaceTension: Being wealthy IS a crime if the gains you have made are ill-gotten.


What about a society whose entirety is based upon ill-gotten gains?
 
2013-12-02 01:04:54 PM

BunkyBrewman: SurfaceTension: Being wealthy IS a crime if the gains you have made are ill-gotten.

What about a society whose entirety is based upon ill-gotten gains?


What about it?
 
2013-12-02 01:07:25 PM

It's a strange comfort to know that a white collar criminal has the same excuse that a blue collar criminal has: the government set me up.


And it's interesting that the government is using the same tactics against these guys as Organized Crime.



And it's equally telling that he does not think teachers, postal workers or the unemployed are peers

 
2013-12-02 01:09:00 PM
How dare the unwashed masses sit in judgement of the titans of Wall Street.
 
2013-12-02 01:12:35 PM
He has a point.  Our nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with the wealthy convicts of white-collar crimes.
 
2013-12-02 01:13:24 PM
Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.
 
2013-12-02 01:19:54 PM
TFA: "a hastily selected jury of two teachers, three office support personnel, a freelance magazine editor, a dance instructor, a retired purchasing manager, a recreational therapist, a Riker's Island prison guard, and two people who were unemployed."

In other words.... Citizens. You can just imagine how he felt being judged by such "chumps".
 
2013-12-02 01:28:21 PM

b2theory: TFA: "a hastily selected jury of two teachers, three office support personnel, a freelance magazine editor, a dance instructor, a retired purchasing manager, a recreational therapist, a Riker's Island prison guard, and two people who were unemployed."

In other words.... Citizens. You can just imagine how he felt being judged by such "chumps".


Love the idea that it was "hastily selected"  this guy can afford, and likely had, the most expensive lawyers money can buy,   guy who can afford to (and probably did) convene mock juries to test their arguments in court, focus groups to critique their opening and closing statements, and more than likely hired consulting psychologists to determine who to try to strike from the jury and who to let on.

But yeah, I'm sure you got railroaded pal.
 
2013-12-02 01:34:59 PM

Magorn: I love that this guy doesn't even realize how much he gives the game away when he expresses his horror at the fact that some of the proletariat will be on the jury sitting in judgement of his fellow titan of industry


And I love it that he can still, to this day, recite the occupations of the jurors who sat on his own jury:

...in front of a liberal judge, Jed S. Rakoff, and a hastily selected jury of two teachers, three office support personnel, a freelance magazine editor, a dance instructor, a retired purchasing manager, a recreational therapist, a Riker's Island prison guard, and two people who were unemployed.


Now, that's some world-class "Don't you know who I am???" butthurt.
 
2013-12-02 01:39:27 PM
Rich people don't do anything wrong!  Why are you angry with them?

Without the benevolent job providing, the lot of you would have to lick the soles of their shoes for table scraps.  You should count yourself luck.  If you're in a position to fellate any of them, don't miss the opportunity to get a head.

It's all about give and take people, give...and...take...
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-12-02 01:48:58 PM
This is pretty a pretty common viewpoint among wealthy people and people who are obsessed with becoming wealthy.

They really do think that anything that makes money is moral and anything that gets in the way of that is immoral.
 
2013-12-02 02:20:34 PM
Oddly enough, I suspect that a few folks within this thread, who are normally law and order types who repeat, "Don't commit crimes then!" will defend this asshat...
 
2013-12-02 02:33:24 PM

hubiestubert: Oddly enough, I suspect that a few folks within this thread, who are normally law and order types who repeat, "Don't commit crimes then!" will defend this asshat...


The one thing I will say is that, having been related to someone who was convicted of a crime almost solely on the testimony of witnesses who got sweetheart deals with no jail time, the concern that juries place far too much faith in bought-and-paid for testimony is a fair one.

Other than that his "who are these plebeians who deign to sit in judgement over me?" schtick is amusingly offensive.
 
2013-12-02 02:37:10 PM

Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.


This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.
 
2013-12-02 02:43:45 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.

This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.


It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.
 
2013-12-02 02:51:02 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.

This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.

It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.


Yes I agree completely but how else can you do it?
 
2013-12-02 02:52:02 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.

This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.

It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.


This is the sort of weak contrarian desperate to say something for attention shiat that convinced me to plonk that assclown in the first place.
 
2013-12-02 02:52:26 PM

hubiestubert: Oddly enough, I suspect that a few folks within this thread, who are normally law and order types who repeat, "Don't commit crimes then!" will defend this asshat...


I probably fall into the description of the "law and order types".  My comment to this schmuck is "don't commit crimes then!"

Blaming everyone else, playing the martyr card, and not one accepting responsibility for even the appearance of impropriety?  Yeah dude, the sun must be a very interesting color in his world.

Hey, here's a thought, let's get some forensic accountants and auditors on that jury and listen to what they have to say.  Somehow, I think they'll be a bit less forgiving, and they'd actually understand just what you were trying to do, etc.
 
2013-12-02 02:57:21 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.



...because a jury of 12 bankers would be a much better idea.
 
2013-12-02 02:58:03 PM
FTA: Will their trials be fair (and deliver the best justice money can buy for the rich)? I have my doubts.
 
2013-12-02 03:02:12 PM

b2theory: TFA: "a hastily selected jury of two teachers, three office support personnel, a freelance magazine editor, a dance instructor, a retired purchasing manager, a recreational therapist, a Riker's Island prison guard, and two people who were unemployed."

In other words.... Citizens. You can just imagine how he felt being judged by such "chumps".


I would love to ask him.. "when was the last time you served on jury duty?"
 
2013-12-02 03:02:47 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.

This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.

It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.

Yes I agree completely but how else can you do it?


Other nations have addresses the issue with non-adversarial systems of professional jurors. I support the later more than the former, but I can understand the merits of both.
 
2013-12-02 03:04:14 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.

This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.

It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.

Yes I agree completely but how else can you do it?

Other nations have addresses the issue with non-adversarial systems of professional jurors. I support the later more than the former, but I can understand the merits of both.


Interesting. The current jury system here has obvious flaws.
 
2013-12-02 03:05:07 PM

JK47: You're the jerk... jerk: It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.


...because a jury of 12 bankers would be a much better idea.


You would likely have 3 or 5 professional jurors who specialize in cases like this. I see no reason why we should have 12 jurors or why they should be made up of our "peers"
 
2013-12-02 03:09:06 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.

This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.

It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.

Yes I agree completely but how else can you do it?

Other nations have addresses the issue with non-adversarial systems of professional jurors. I support the later more than the former, but I can understand the merits of both.

Interesting. The current jury system here has obvious flaws.


It made sense when your threat was a far away, oppressive government and most cases involved issues that the common person could understand.

I don't think either of those things is true anymore (and as a libertarian, I am generally quite wary of government control).
 
2013-12-02 03:12:05 PM
Truly sickening.
 
2013-12-02 03:22:41 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: Debeo Summa Credo: Tigger: Wah Wah you did two years.

If I had my way you would have been burnt alive in the public square. Pour encourager les autres.

This is what he's complaining about. People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case. The prosecutors are counting on seating several such hateful idiots in the jury box.

While based on what I know about this case and SAC, it would be my opinion that they are guilty, your attitude is exactly what the author is complaining about. You prove his point.

It is also pretty stupid to allow a jury of 12 random people make decisions about nuanced financial matters (also true in cases where complex engineering/science/etc. is involved). They have no expertise on it and are forced to decide which of the experts to believe, often on things that have nothing to do with the truth.


No more stupid than letting a jury of 12 random people sit in on a jury of a crime that affects one neighborhood.  Shouldn't the jury be made of their peers?  Why stop there, instead of one neighborhood, why not just focus on the block that someone grew up on, after all, they would know all the details better than a randomly selected jury.  Look if it is good enough for a gang banger, it is good enough for a CEO.
 
2013-12-02 04:23:28 PM
He shoulda played the race card
 
2013-12-02 05:06:37 PM
If you don't want to be treated like a pariah by the "normal" people of the country, maybe you should: A) not act like a pariah; and B) support efforts to increase the level of education and sophistication of the "normal" people of the country.
 
2013-12-02 05:50:14 PM

nmrsnr: hubiestubert: Oddly enough, I suspect that a few folks within this thread, who are normally law and order types who repeat, "Don't commit crimes then!" will defend this asshat...

The one thing I will say is that, having been related to someone who was convicted of a crime almost solely on the testimony of witnesses who got sweetheart deals with no jail time, the concern that juries place far too much faith in bought-and-paid for testimony is a fair one.

Other than that his "who are these plebeians who deign to sit in judgement over me?" schtick is amusingly offensive.


I hate the uber-rich as much as the next guy, but I'm inclined to agree; If there's no evidence, there's no case. People should never be convicted only on circumstantial evidence and bought testimony. If that means the guilty get away, then change the law so transparency is much more effectively enforced. No I didn't say, nor imply, it would be easy.
 
2013-12-02 06:10:51 PM
Whenever a rich pig gets successfully sued or jailed, certain fellators of the rich and powerful always start to make noises about how we need to "reform" the legal system or jury system.
It's as predictable as stink on shiat. As worthy of about as much respect.
 
2013-12-02 06:35:51 PM
So the poor guy made at least $50million per year in prison.

Where do we sign up?
 
2013-12-02 08:21:20 PM

jso2897: Whenever a rich pig gets successfully sued or jailed, certain fellators of the rich and powerful always start to make noises about how we need to "reform" the legal system or jury system.
It's as predictable as stink on shiat. As worthy of about as much respect.


You sound poor and stupid.
 
2013-12-02 08:56:00 PM

hubiestubert: Oddly enough, I suspect that a few folks within this thread, who are normally law and order types who repeat, "Don't commit crimes then!" will defend this asshat...


Hmm. . at risk of your ire then. . .

Not defending him (he's a pretty extreme example), but it is incredibly easy to do and justify at that level. You start off with just a slightly weird situation (say, needing a mortgage but can't get one because your dad screwed your credit rating over), try to do the best you can with the tools you have (go to the bank, say, "Can you help me?"), and because of a few well-intentioned changes find yourself at the head of a criminal organization. Result: you are indicted for fraud on a mortgage when the lady you talked to was just suggesting you check this box instead of this one to up your chances of getting the loan, but that resulted in five other people signing off on the "fraud," ergo, conspiracy to commit and now you have "organized" crime. Especially with the amount and complexity of the financial laws in place, yeah, this is a pretty easy slippery slope, and I've gotten enough anecdotal evidence collected from myself and others that I believe it. In my case, we have an interesting conjunction of trust fund law, estate law, financial planning, fiduciary responsibility, and stupidity that if I did the "right" thing legally, my entire family ends up homeless; tell me the answer to that ethical Kobayashi Maru--not exactly the situation I described above but gorram close. This is also one of the reasons I refuse to advise people on stocks or go into the investing industry at all in spite of the returns I'm making; it would just be way too easy to accidentally fark people over hard and get raked over the coals for it.

However, if you are rich enough to do things right from the get go, you have no excuse. The system was built specifically FOR you; no reason to try to go around it above and beyond just because you want that extra 1% annual return on your multi-million dollar vacation home.

/and being a criminal  isa job and a pretty hard one that (seeing as how the author failed so miserably), so I'm willing to let the "hard-earned" part slide
 
2013-12-02 09:40:17 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case.


Nope.  Right at the start of this thread we learned:

Magorn: Prosecutors said Treacy backdated options at New York-based Monster, the world's largest online-recruiting company, by treating them as if they were granted on dates when Monster's stock price was at or near a periodic low. None of the grants resulted in a compensation expense, as the law requires, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Treacy earned at least $14.5 million from the scheme, including profits from his exercise of backdated options and bonus payments after he reached company financial targets.
Monster reported in 2001 that its net income was $69 million when it was really $3.4 million after options expenses were recorded, prosecutors said. The company said in December 2006 that it had overstated earnings by $271.9 million in the previous nine years because of improperly recorded option grants. Prosecutors said the company understated compensation by $339 million.

Stock Fraud and the wholesale looting of a publicly held company basically.


So, not only are you wrong as usual, it's profoundly weird to see someone claiming to have CFA credentials trying to deflect attention away from deliberate securities fraud, as well as someone claiming to have CPA credentials trying to deflect attention away from deliberate tax fraud.

When are you going to admit you lied about having CFA and CPA credentials?
 
2013-12-02 10:28:50 PM

El Pachuco: Debeo Summa Credo: People who have no idea what they are talking about have convicted him (and any other white collar criminal) in their minds and have fantasies of burning them to death, despite having no idea of the specifics of the case.

Nope.  Right at the start of this thread we learned:

Magorn: Prosecutors said Treacy backdated options at New York-based Monster, the world's largest online-recruiting company, by treating them as if they were granted on dates when Monster's stock price was at or near a periodic low. None of the grants resulted in a compensation expense, as the law requires, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Treacy earned at least $14.5 million from the scheme, including profits from his exercise of backdated options and bonus payments after he reached company financial targets.
Monster reported in 2001 that its net income was $69 million when it was really $3.4 million after options expenses were recorded, prosecutors said. The company said in December 2006 that it had overstated earnings by $271.9 million in the previous nine years because of improperly recorded option grants. Prosecutors said the company understated compensation by $339 million.

Stock Fraud and the wholesale looting of a publicly held company basically.

So, not only are you wrong as usual, it's profoundly weird to see someone claiming to have CFA credentials trying to deflect attention away from deliberate securities fraud, as well as someone claiming to have CPA credentials trying to deflect attention away from deliberate tax fraud.

When are you going to admit you lied about having CFA and CPA credentials?


I am a CPA and a CFA.

Quoting from an article on the internet makes you fully informed about a case? Seriously? That seems pretty stupid coming from someone who claims to have graduated from high school and have taken some introductory Econ classes at a community college.

When are you going to admit you lied about being a high school graduate?
 
2013-12-02 11:44:04 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: Quoting from an article on the internet makes you fully informed about a case? Seriously?


Doing a 1-second search on "Jim Treacy monster" gets you more than sufficient documentation that the article writer was indeed convicted of improperly accounting for backdated stock options.  We also see that the  U.S. District Judge for the case, Jed Rakoff, said,"I don't have any doubt the jury's verdict was correct.  It is appalling, it is disgusting that this practice went on."

So the judge, the guy with access to all the evidence, has no doubt that Treacy did what Magorn says he did.  That's good enough for this real MBA, for the purposes of this discussion.

If you'd actually gone to business school, which you didn't, they would have taught you how to do a 1-second search on teh internets.  Just think of the victory dance you could have done proving what gullible dunces Magorn and I are, if we'd been wrong, which we weren't.  Instead you end up looking the dunce, and a defender of securities- and tax-fraud, which would be a really weird thing for a real CFA and CPA to do.

And we all notice that you're ignoring my comment
it's profoundly weird to see someone claiming to have CFA credentials trying to deflect attention away from deliberate securities fraud, as well as someone claiming to have CPA credentials trying to deflect attention away from deliberate tax fraud.

If you were a CFA, which you aren't, maybe you could explain why backdating stock options should be legal, and why it's harmless.  If you were a CPA, which you aren't, maybe you could point to the tax laws that it doesn't violate are an over-reach or something.  You'd still be wrong, but it'd demonstrate your expertise in either of those fields.  Go for it.

Hey, by chance are you Jim Treacy?
 
2013-12-02 11:51:27 PM

El Pachuco: why

not disclosing  backdating stock options should be legal FTFM
 
2013-12-03 11:01:10 AM

El Pachuco: El Pachuco: why not disclosing  backdating stock options should be legal FTFM


Woah there hoss, it isn't like he's claiming that he's a veteran or anything.
 
2013-12-03 03:54:26 PM

Tigger: This is the sort of weak contrarian desperate to say something for attention shiat that convinced me to plonk that assclown in the first place.


I've got him farkied as "blame the borrowers" in thread 6966479, so this sort of wall street apologist schtick is nothing new.
 
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