A New York money manager with a long history of legal battles with the government has been charged with threatening to kill 47 U.S. officials, including the nation's top securities and commodities regulators. Vincent McCrudden, 49, last month allegedly posted online an "execution list" naming officials including Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler.
Federal prosecutors said the threat came shortly after the CFTC brought an enforcement action accusing McCrudden and two of his companies with operating unregistered investments. McCrudden was arrested on Thursday and scheduled to appear in a Long Island court later on Friday. McCrudden threatened officials at the SEC, CFTC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the National Futures Association, authorities said.
"Go buy a gun, and lets get to work in taking back our country from these criminals," McCrudden allegedly wrote, in a statement calling for the four regulators to be abolished. "I will be the first one to lead by example."
McCrudden's arrest comes amid heightened concern for the safety of public officials, after last Saturday's shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others in Tucson, Arizona. Six people died, including federal judge John Roll.
Bruce Barket, a lawyer for McCrudden who described himself as a long-time friend, said his client is not guilty.
"He is at times ill-mannered and short-tempered, and not very articulate in terms of expressing himself," Barket said in a telephone interview. "But the idea that he was actually threatening somebody is ludicrous." The government said McCrudden, of Dix Hills, New York, has been living for the last few months in Singapore, and was arrested Thursday at Newark-Liberty International Airport. Barket said McCrudden "came back to answer these charges."
According to a biography on the website of his Alnbri Management LLC, McCrudden has worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years, was an amateur boxer, and played professional soccer in the now-defunct North American Soccer League. The biography also said McCrudden has "spent the past 13 years and counting combating a colluded Government attempt to discredit and harass Mr. McCrudden through repeated bogus procedures."
McCrudden had also been charged in 2002 with 15 counts of felony mail fraud, but was acquitted, court records show. The SEC, the CFTC and FINRA declined to comment or did not immediately return requests for comment.
"We get threatening emails all the time," including some that contain death threats, said a CFTC official who spoke on condition of anonymity. NFA Chief Executive Dan Roth said the group denied an application by McCrudden in 2005 to become a commodity pool operator, citing the defendant's statements under oath that he misled clients about his trading activities.
The government complaint quotes various, sometimes profane emails and website postings that McCrudden allegedly made, faulting the activities of various regulators. In one email, McCrudden is said to have threatened Gensler specifically, telling a CFTC lawyer: "You can tell that fucking corrupt piece of Goldman Sachs shit (G.G.) I am coming after him as well." Gensler worked for 18 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, where he became co-head of finance, according to his official biography. The case is U.S. v. McCrudden, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 10-01503.