Danielle Chiesi, the former beauty queen turned stock trader was just sentenced to 30 months in prison by Judge Richard Holwell in Manhattan Federal court.Chiesi, who was once had the ear of hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, pleaded guilty last January to three counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
The domino effect for the District Attorney’s office began here, eventually snaring Rajaratnam himself, along with other traders who are also awaiting sentencing themselves. Donald Longueuil, the former SAC trader will be sentenced on July 29, and Rajaratnam faces his own music on September 27. In addition, her former boss at New Castle, Mark Kurland is currently serving 27 months for the same crime.
Ceisei passed on the information to her married boss and lover, Kurland. Chiesi’s lawyers had been asking for a lesser sentence, given she had never traded on any of the illegal tips in her personal account, but the judge didn’t agree.
Chiesi was colourful fodder around the water coolers on Wall Street, as she once compared insider trading to having an orgasm. On top of everything else, she has agreed to pay $540,000 to settle related civil charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Unfortunately, I know from experience just what she was going through. I myself was sentenced for securities fraud back in June of ’07. You stand before the Judge listening to everyone around you speak but you’re not hearing much, it’s all just a blur as you await the magic number. Will it be at the high range of sentencing guidelines, the middle, or best of all, at the lower end.
As I outlined in my recently published book, “My Road Home,” your legs are wobbly, but stand you must, you try to remain stoic, keep the brave face as best you can. You think to yourself: how the hell did I get here? What happened to my moral compass, what took me off the rails so thouroughly? How could I let so many people down? The questions could go on and on, too many to even fathom.
Ms. Chiesi was no doubt hoping the Judge would give her some time to get her affairs in order before having to report to prison, which he indeed did Or would she be remanded immediately as I was? I knew that was going to be the case when I walked in the courtroom, I wasn’t coming out until I was a free man. In my case as soon as the Judge produced his sentence, I could see three court officers step in behind my chair, one of them slowly reaching for his handcuffs. The dreaded moment is here, no one can help you now. It’s all crashing down on you now as you here him say, “Sir, please put your hands behind your back.”
The nightmare begins……..