Business, Economics and Jobs

Ex-trader pleads guilty to making death threats against financial regulators

On the eve of his jury trial in New York federal court, an ex-commodities trader admitted threatening to kill 47 financial regulators, including SEC Chairwoman Mary Shapiro and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler.

Vincent McCrudden, 50, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of transmission of threats to injure for using email, Facebook and postings on his company website to make the death threats, Bloomberg News reports. The charges carry up to 10 years in prison.

Among the charges, prosecutors allege that McCrudden sent an email to Daniel Driscoll, chief operating officer of the National Futures Association, with the subject line, “You’re a Dead Man,” The New York Times reports. The email, sent in CFTC Chairman Gensler’s name, went on to say that he had hired people to kill Driscoll. “It wasn’t ever a question of ‘if” I was going to kill you, it was just a question of when,” it read.

Prosecutors also claimed that after the CFTC sued him for illegally starting a hedge fund without registering it, McCrudden posted an “execution list” on his company website targeting 47 current and former officials at the SEC, CFTC, NFA and the Financial Regulatory Authority. “Go buy a gun and let’s get to work taking back our country from these criminals,” McCrudden allegedly wrote on the site. “I’ll be the first one to lead by example.”

Prosecutors also said McCrudden had created a National Futures Association Facebook group offering 250,000 Euros ($351,175) to any group “with proof of killing” regulators on the list. Government officials had traced the posting’s computer address to McCrudden’s hotel room in Singapore, where he had moved from Long Beach, Calif. to follow his girlfriend to a new job.

“He thought he could hide in the shadows of the Internet and disseminate his threats and instructions,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “He was wrong.”

In the past, McCrudden has claimed he was being persecuted for fighting back against unfair regulatory actions that destroyed his career. During his pleading hearing Monday, he apologized to his victims and his family for any harm his actions may have caused.