Judge Sentences Wall Street’s Greed and Hedge Fund Founder to Prison

This past Friday, a judge in New York sentenced Mark Kurland, co-founder of New Castle Partners, a $1 billion hedge fund investment firm with offices in Manhattan, to two years and three months in prison for his role in an insider-trading scheme.  U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero also ordered Kurland to forfeit the $900,000 he received through his illegal trades.

Personally, although Kurland whined like a baby stuck pig at the sentencing, telling the judge that he was “heartbroken and profoundly ashamed,” and agreeing that he should have known better, the guys got to be in zillionaire and nine hundred grand to him is probably something like me paying a traffic ticket.  Two years and three months in prison is no picnic I’m sure, assuming it’s federal time where you actually do every day you’re sentenced to do, which it appears it is, but it’s still kind of a weak message when you consider that the judge blamed the attitudes of people like Kurland as being the cause of the country’s financial crisis.

According to the AP News story, written by Larry Neumeister:

“To some extent, this country’s financial meltdown was fueled precisely by the attitudes manifested by Mr. Kurland in this proceeding, and repeated by defendants in other related cases,” the judge said.

“He had a choice as a leader of the financial industry. He could have led by example. Instead, he chose to follow. He became a joiner, surrendering to the spree of the financial market’s virtual mob mentality that nearly brought down this country’s financial industry in the quest for ever bigger and faster gains,” Marrero said.

“Mr. Kurland’s actions, stemming from a recognized leader of the industry, compromised the financial market’s integrity at a time of financial crises and widespread concern about corruption, rampant recklessness, and arrogant greed at the highest levels of the industry,” he added.

Okay, your Honor… I’m with you 100 percent.  I like every word of what you said there.  And if two years and three months was what you felt was appropriate, I’m even perfectly willing to go along with that as well.  You’re the judge, after all, so who am I to judge… pun intended.

But please your Honor, keep up the pressure on these guys, okay?  Because without question, far too many of them are getting away with their unconscionable crimes… and their ill-gotten booty.  And it warms the cockles of my heart every time I hear of one being sentenced to prison, where they’ll now be at risk of having their own booty gotten.  (Okay, I’m sorry about that.  Some sentences write themselves.  You understand, right?)

The AP story said that just before the jusdge read the sentence, Kurland said his crime had “destroyed my reputation and everything I have worked hard for my entire life.”  He also said his torment was “unimaginable and very painful.”

Oh, I don’t know about that… I think I can imagine it.  Yep, I definitely can.  In fact imagining such things is a big part of why I don’t commit crimes that contribute to the destruction of the global financial markets.  Maybe that’s your problem, Mr, Kurland… or how about if I start calling you “bitch,” so you can get used to it… maybe you’ve got an imagination deficiency.

“The void left by the sudden end of my career will never end,” Kurland told AP News.

I hope not, Kurland, because the pain you and others like you have caused won’t end in many of their lifetimes either.  Only difference is… in two years and three months, you’ll be back at the country club or out on your yacht, and the rest of the people you harmed will likely be living on Social Security and standing in line to get food stamps.

Oh, and by the way… New Castle Partners was the equity hedge fund group at Bear Stearns Asset Management Inc.  When Bear imploded and was handed off in the middle of the night… I mean “acquired” by banking industry CEO, Jamie Dimon, New Castle ended up at JPMorgan Chase & Co.   According to the AP News story, in January 2009, New Castle Partners ended its affiliation with JPMorgan and formed a new hedge fund, New Castle Partners LP.

Well gosh, I sure do hope those guys learned a valuable lesson and are committed to making changes over there, because I’d hate to think that the rest of them are just going about their raping and pillaging, as usual.  Actually, that’s exactly what I think… and I absolutely do hate it.

A whole lot, actually.  Can you tell?

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