A hedge fund supervisor dedicated fraud however US lets him go


In December 2009, after Mr. Baker had spent 5 months in a German jail, United States marshals flew him to Chicago, the place he was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Middle. Months handed as he awaited a trial date, and Mr. Baker realized the jail’s rhythms. A very powerful factor, he stated, was to persuade different inmates that he was not a baby molester. He instructed them he was a Wall Road criminal.

Prosecutors thought that they had a clear-cut case towards him. However in April 2010, the court-appointed receiver overseeing Lake Shore’s chapter issued a report that stated Mr. Kurgan was an element proprietor of Lake Shore and its associates and had performed an official position on the firms. That clouded the prosecution narrative that Mr. Baker had acted on his personal.

Clifford C. Histed, the lead prosecutor on the case, summoned Mr. Baker to debate the report. Mr. Baker argued that it proved he didn’t should be punished alone. And he stated the commodities buying and selling fee was making Lake Shore a scapegoat, flexing its enforcement muscle tissue after failing to stop different hedge funds from blowing up.

Mr. Histed instructed him to offer proof.

Mr. Baker, utilizing a pc within the jail library, spent months sifting by way of digital paperwork earlier than presenting his case to Mr. Histed.

The prosecutor didn’t agree that Mr. Baker was the sufferer of a authorities conspiracy. However in Mr. Baker’s last plea settlement, prosecutors stated Mr. Baker did have a associate, described as “Particular person A,” who had misrepresented Lake Shore’s returns and misappropriated cash. “Particular person A” refers to Mr. Kurgan, based on an individual concerned within the investigation who was not approved to talk publicly concerning the plea doc.

Mr. Baker and his lawyer, Daniel L. Rashbaum, a former prosecutor, had been operating out of authorized choices. Then Mr. Baker remembered the Canadian treaty he had realized about in Germany.

Beginning within the late 1970s, america had entered right into a collection of treaties that established protocols for cross-border prisoner transfers. One catalyst was the nonfiction e-book “Midnight Specific,” the idea of a 1978 film, a couple of younger American imprisoned in Turkey.

From 2005 to 2010, the Justice Division rejected 97 p.c of all switch functions, based on a 2011 government report. One purpose was that federal prosecutors usually opposed transfers on the grounds that prisoners didn’t serve their full sentences if transferred.

That gave Mr. Rashbaum an thought. If he may get america legal professional’s workplace to assist a switch to Canada, maybe Justice Division officers in Washington would associate with it. And the Canadians, Mr. Rashbaum recalled considering, had been prone to let Mr. Baker out rapidly. In that case, the size of his sentence in America wouldn’t matter.

Mr. Rashbaum approached Mr. Histed with a proposal: Mr. Baker would admit guilt and settle for a 20-year jail sentence, with no probability for parole, if the prosecutors didn’t object to him being transferred to Canada.

Mr. Histed stated in an interview that he knew the protection hoped the maneuver would lead to Mr. Baker’s freedom, however he doubted it might work. And extra vital, he knew that going to trial can be time-consuming and dangerous for the federal government, partly as a result of Mr. Baker may increase questions in entrance of a jury about why he alone was on trial.

So Mr. Histed agreed to the deal. “What mattered to us was that he be delivered to justice in america,” he stated in an interview.

On Aug. 24, 2011, Mr. Baker was offered a plea settlement to signal. He was nervous; his lawyer was terrified. “The horror of pleading somebody to 20 years primarily based on a inventive plan scared the dwelling daylights out of me,” Mr. Rashbaum stated.

Mr. Baker took a deep breath and signed the doc. Mr. Rashbaum walked out to the parking zone and vomited.



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