Vincent P. McCrudden, a former New York commodities trader, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison for threatening to kill federal financial regulators.
McCrudden, 51, who pleaded guilty last year, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley in federal court in Central Islip, New York. He apologized to his victims.
“I wrote provocative language on my website that could have been perceived as threatening,” McCrudden told the judge. “I would never intentionally hurt or cause bodily harm to another human being.”
On the day his trial was to begin in July he admitted to threatening the lives of 47 current and former officials, including Chairman Mary L. Schapiro of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Chairman Gary Gensler of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
McCrudden has been held without bail since his arrest upon returning to the U.S. in January 2011 from Singapore, where he lived with his fiancee. He was charged with threatening the officials in profanity-filled e-mails and, after the CFTC sued him the month before his arrest, Web postings.
‘Judge Was Fair’
“We do believe the judge was fair,” McCrudden’s lawyer, Sarita Kedia, said after the sentencing. “We would have liked to have seen Vincent get to go home sooner rather than later.”
McCrudden posted an “execution” list of government officials online, urging visitors to his website to take up arms against them and saying he would “lead by example.” He also e- mailed a threat directly to one person using Gensler’s name, prosecutors said.
“The nature of the crime, it’s just horrendous,” Hurley said today.
McCrudden said he was being persecuted for fighting back against unfair regulatory actions that destroyed his career. In addition to trading commodities, he ran his own hedge funds.
McCrudden wrote in a Sept. 30, 2010, e-mail to Daniel A. Driscoll, chief operating officer of the National Futures Association, that he had hired people to kill him.
“It wasn’t ever a question of ‘if’ I was going to kill you, it was just a question of when,” McCrudden wrote. He sent the e-mail from Singapore over Gensler’s name.
Prosecutors charged that, after the CFTC accused him in the lawsuit of operating unregistered commodity pools, he posted the “execution” list on his company website.
“Go buy a gun, and let’s get to work in taking back our country from these criminals,” he wrote on the site, according to prosecutors. “I will be the first one to lead by example.”
McCrudden moved from Long Beach, New York, to Singapore in September 2010 because his fiancee had gotten a position there. He was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on returning from the Southeast Asian country.
McCrudden pleaded guilty to two counts of transmission of threats to injure. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The government asked for 37 months. McCrudden said he should get the 15 months he already served. He has spent 14 of those months in a Queens, New York, detention center where he was locked down 23 hours a day, he said.
McCrudden’s legal and regulatory entanglements began in 2000, when he was criminally charged with masking shortfalls in statements to his hedge-fund investors. The government said he included in his results money he expected to get from a lawsuit after Sumitomo Corp. was accused of manipulating the copper market.
In 2003, a federal jury in Central Islip acquitted McCrudden of 15 counts of mail fraud.
The National Futures Association in 2005 denied his registration application because of the alleged overstatements. After that decision, which the CFTC and a federal appeals court upheld, he agreed to get anger-management therapy to avoid prosecution for sending an NFA lawyer a threatening e-mail.
In October 2009, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. ruled that McCrudden induced Hedge Fund Capital Partners LLC, a New York broker-dealer where he had worked, to file a form saying he left voluntarily when he really had been fired, something McCrudden denied.
The National Adjudicatory Council, which hears appeals of Finra decisions, upheld that finding.
The criminal case is U.S. v. McCrudden, 11-cr-61; and the civil case is U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. McCrudden, 10-cv-5567, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip).
--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Andrew Dunn