Anil Kumar stormed out of the courtroom moments after John Dowd finished his first round of grilling.
It appears the defence surprised the prosecution with something. Kumar at one point says, “I believe that [the tax return rider, an attachment] was sent to you last night and this is all that we have printed out right now.”
Dowd used Kumar’s tax returns, which Kumar admitted were “incomplete and deficient,” in his attempt to blow the lid off Kumar’s credibility by questioning Kumar on his truthfulness on his tax returns and by revealing that Kumar had insider traded once.
First, of course, he asked Kumar why he was doing this, and suggested that he was just trying to avoid getting convicted by working with the government.
Then he suggested that would have happened otherwise in at least 2 ways.
The first thing Dowd got on Kumar’s case about was his insider trading — Kumar had admitted to the courtroom while the prosecution was questioning him that he had insider traded Starent on October 7th 2009, at Raj’s place in Miami, while he was on his way to Trinidad — coincidentally, just days before he was arrested.
Next, Dowd attacked him on the matter of his quasi-truthfulness on his tax returns. Dowd pulled up attachments on Kumar’s tax returns that showed he had pleaded the fifth and would not be reporting the income that he received in offshore accounts.
(It says something like this, “The taxpayer declines to answer questions addressed to this issue… he chooses not to incriminate himself.”)
The line of questioning had the effect of 1) making everyone question how truthful Kumar had been in his initial testimony to the court when he said that he had put all of the money that Raj had given him in an escrow account (plus returns), and paid the government more than enough, $1 million. And 2) making the court realise that Kumar has balls and that he is going to give everything Dowd has for him in terms of aggression right back.
Case in point: At one point during the questioning about the tax returns, Dowd yelled for clarification from Kumar, who apparently wasn’t answering his question adequately, “Have you declared the income and paid taxes on it?”
“No I have not,” Kumar yelled back. “I have stated my income and sent $1 million to the IRS.”
He also attacked Kumar about the way he was answering questions, suggesting that Kumar might be dodging questions.
“You’re a senior partner at McKinsey for 23 years and you can’t keep track of all your accounts? You didn’t know which one was where and how much was in each?”
“That the Ambit fund was in the Marshall Islands? Absolutely not, sir.”
And that’s just a couple examples — there’s certainly some cat-fighting going on. Like when there was a defence objection to reading Streeter’s statement of the plea agreement, and Streeter said, “I don’t know where the defence is going with this, but that’s my account of the plea agreement.”
Dowd retorted, “I’m doing exactly what Mr. Streeter did, all the talking and then asking Anil Kumar if that’s correct.”
And that pretty much sums up how the cross examination began — with the defence and Kumar, the government’s witness, going toe to toe on EVERYTHING.
One reported noted that the strategy is a risky one saying, “it’s obvious that the government has coached Kumar to be a combative with Dowd. It’s an interesting strategy. We’ll see if it pays off.”
Kumar seems to think it will. When the judge and lawyers were meeting at sidebar, he was smiling to himself with satisfaction.
Back in the courtroom, Kumar and Dowd went at it again.
In fact moments before the latest afternoon break, Kumar appeared to have been caught in a lie — or at least confusion — over wire transfer details. A man from HSBC’s Bank of Bermuda unit had emailed him asking about those details, but Kumar said he didn’t know what Bank of Bermuda is.
Kumar hesistated at first and tried to explain, and Dowd said: “I didn’t ask for a speech just answer the question.”
We don’t know how he answered yet, but before the break, Dowd was attempting to get Kumar to say that he had previously testified that he didn’t know what Bank of Bermuda was, but now, he remembered.