A midlife crisis can take many forms. Cheating on your spouse. Purchasing a Maserati. Wearing Billabong. Buying into The Lynx Effect. Just being a jerk. But putting up an “execution” list on your Web site of high-ranking financial and government officials and urging people to buy guns to help you kill them is one I haven’t heard of. Among those on the hit list of the smiling man in the orange tie to your left: the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Schapiro and the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler — both heavyweight Wall Street watchdogs.
“Go buy a gun, and let’s get to work in taking back our country from these criminals,” he wrote on his site, according to prosecutors. “I will be the first one to lead by example.”
The 50-year-old from Long Island is accused of threatening the lives of 47 current and former officials. (Yes, I said 47. You cannot make this stuff up.)
His defense: “On Dec. 10, 2010, I was notified that I was being civilly sued by the CFTC for $58 million…It upset me. I had started to post some things on the site that hadn’t been there before.” The CFTC had alleged this trader who has, shall we say, a checkered past, was running a commodities business without a license.
Vincent P. McCrudden, sometime hedge fund manager, not only wrote profanity-filled messages to important people, but he also sent life-threating emails to officials, prosecutors say, signing them with other officials’ names.
Not a good idea if you’re doing it from Singapore — which, apparently, he was.
“It wasn’t ever a question of if I was going to kill you, it was just a question
of when,” said an email signed by the CFTC’s Gensler to National Futures Association President Daniel Driscoll.
Gensler was not suspected to be the author of the email, as he generally does not issue death threats from Singapore or use profanity in his notes. But, hey, you never know.
Yesterday McCrudden pleaded guilty to two counts of “transmission of
threats to injure.” The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
McCrudden’s trial is set for next week. From jail, he is working on a new crack defense strategy — namely, that he should be able to show evidence of financial conspiracy theories that will make his death threats seem more, ah, appropriate.
Ordinarily, I would hasten to add that there is obviously no conspiracy. But it is Murdoch Web of Lies Sins of Men Axis of Evil week, so I cannot do that.