“Send Matt home to his family,” Matthew Tannin’s defence attorney told the jurors at the trial of two ex-Bear Stearns hedge fund executives.
The jurors will begin deciding on Monday whether Tannin and co-defendant Ralph Cioffi will go home or serve as much as 20 years. The two are accused of lying to investors about the health of the funds, which collapsed in 2007.
Much of the case has centered around emails the two sent. Prosecutors say they show Tannin and Cioffi knew the funds were in trouble but said different to the public, while the defence attorneys say the emails are taken out of context.
Dan Slater, who has covered the trial for DealBook summarizes the two themes the jurors must decide between this way:
DealBook: Narrative A: After successfully operating their funds for over three years, the defendants decided to go criminal when the going got rough. They lied to investors, telling them only what they wanted to hear to keep them in the funds.
Narrative B: The defendants were professional risk-takers with solid track records. As such, they analysed every angle before coming to the conclusion — justifiable at the time — that they could continue making money regardless of whether the subprime mortgage market turned to “toast.” In the end, their prediction was wrong. But making a bad bet isn’t a crime.
After sitting through more than three weeks of trial, the jury could decide the case as early as Monday.
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