Stephen Foley: A rebellious hedgie who is certainly no hero


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The Independent Online

US Outlook: John Kinnucan was briefly hailed a hero by the hedge-fund industry, for standing up to the FBI, refusing to turn snitch on his clients and refusing to wear a wire to help the Feds' investigation into insider trading. That was back in 2010, when the investigation was just getting going and a furious Mr Kinnucan went public to reveal the FBI's tactics and damn it as a witch-hunt.

Yesterday, inevitably, Mr Kinnucan himself was slapped with civil and criminal fraud charges, accused of aiding insider trading.

His firm, Broadband Research, was one of a sprouting number of "expert networks", which specialise in arranging meetings between hedge-fund managers and corporate executives, meetings which the expert networks say give investors valuable insights into particular industries or markets, and which the Feds have shownare actually a conduit for insiderinformation which hedgies use forillegal trading.

Since 2010, almost two dozen people have been charged in connection with the expert networks investigation, and the authorities are racking up convictions.

Whatever the outcome of his own case, hero Mr Kinnucan is not.