We heard in December that one of the FBI’s targets at raided hedge fund Diamondback is allegedly Todd Newman, one of the firm’s tech portfolio managers.
Now the Wall Street Journal reports that a second man, called Jesse Tortora, is also a target of the investigation.
“Diamondback… told clients that investigators… appeared to be focused on that portfolio manager and a former employee who had worked under him.
[T]he former employee is Jesse Tortora, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Tortora left Diamondback early last year, saying he was going to work on the West Coast, people familiar with the matter say.
Like his boss, Newman, Tortora is a bit of an online enigma.
We couldn’t find any relevant LinkedIn profile. There is a cached photo from a now shuttered Facebook account that was under the name Jesse Tortora, but that is unenlightening. We couldn’t find, in fact, any online information on a Jesse Tortora after 2007.
However, we think it’s a pretty good wager to say that he’s the same Jesse Tortora who was an analyst at Prudential Equity up to 2007, and who was mentioned constantly in the press for his research on Apple prior to 2008.
- We could only one Jesse Tortora that was in the finance industry.
- Considering the only other person who is alleged to have been put on leave from Diamondback in relation to the probe, Todd Newman, was a tech portfolio manager (and that all the previous charges of insider trading have been directed at consultants who shared inside information on tech companies, in particular semiconductor makers) it seems likely that the Jesse Tortora who worked as an equity research analyst at Prudential Equity Group in tech stocks, is the same man who worked for Newman and/or Diamondback in their tech unit.
- Tortora isn’t “Smith.”
But just to be safe, we’ll just stick to talking about the Prudential analyst as if he’s a separate person.Tortora was laid off from Prudential in 2007 as part of a larger dismissal of analysts.
But interestingly, Tortora was lambasted for predictions he made about Apple’s new iPhone, which nabbed him a place on Wired Magazine’s “15 Dumbest Apple Predictions Of All Time” —
“Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora said the first and slimmer of Apple’s initial two cell phone models will look like an iPod with a small screen and a click wheel interface.” — Jesse Tortora, paraphrased by MacRumors.
Here’s a more comprehensive list of his predictions about Apple products in 2006 and 2007.
That Tortora also gushed about the a new Apple smartphone and “slim music phone” in 2007 but “did not identify his sources.”