Updated: Longueuil was fired in 2010.
Imagine walking into a courtroom knowing that in a matter of minutes, while standing before a Judge, you will learn just how many years behind bars await you? That’s what happened to former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager Donald Longueuil this past Friday afternoon, as he appeared before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, in courtroom 14 B, of Federal court of the Southern District of NY. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years, with an additional 2 years of post release supervision.
Surrounded by family, friends, as well as his fiance, Longueuil wearing a blue suit, crisp white shirt, and blue tie, stood ramrod straight before Judge Rakoff asking for leniency. You could hear a pin drop as he pushed back his chair. “I continue to accept full responsibility and will forever be remorseful for those actions.” I watched him closely, you could clearly see the paper he was reading from shaking. But who could blame him.
“I made mistakes, I crossed the line, I broke the law,” he told the Judge. I watched as his family held back the tears. This was the dark side of Wall Street, a street not always lined with riches, but all too often paved with corruption and wrong doing. It leads to broken lives and shattered dreams. It leads to prison terms, marriages being called off (in Longueuil’s case), careers ruined ( he is banned forever from Wall Street) and much, much soul searching. Mr. Longueuil has also agreed to disgorge over $1.2 million in illegal profits.
Longueuil, 35 years old, pleaded guilty this past April to conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. His case is just one part of the strong crackdown on insider trading along with the murky underpinnings of the so-called ‘expert networks’ and the insiders at tech companies. Longueuil worked for SAC Capital’s Intrinsic unit from July 2008 to July 2010. Upon joining them he signed a 2 year, $4.2 million contract. Obviously that is gone as well.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Avi Weitzman had been arguing for a stiffer sentence, one in the range of 46-50 months. “This wasn’t a one-time bad decision by Mr. Longueuil, but a sustained effort to commit insider trading,” he argued before the Judge. “This was a long-term, repeated and dedicated effort.”
Judge Rakoff’s court schedule was running a little behind schedule, so the original 4:00pm sentencing did not occur until 5:30. I stepped out into the hallway a few times, to casually observe Longueuil, his fiance, and his family.
The pain and anxiety he was facing was evident, not only on his face, but those surrounding him. What could they say? Truly there is nothing you can say to someone facing prison, you can only offer as much support and encouragement as possible.
Longueuil will have at least have 45 days until he is ordered to surrender to the prison he is assigned to. Until then, he will surely spend most of this time reflecting on the harshness that awaits, as well as the opportunities lost. I believe he will also, eventually, find the strength to move forward in a positive and meaningful way in life. Prison can do that to you.