NY judge gives Oregon man prison in insider case

AP News
Posted: Jan 15, 2013 2:19 PM
NY judge gives Oregon man prison in insider case

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of an Oregon investment research firm was sentenced Tuesday to more than four years in prison for an insider trading conviction and for "obscene, hateful" rants he directed at investigators before his arrest.

John Kinnucan, 55, of Portland, apologized to "everybody involved" for the trouble he caused before U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts announced his four year, three month sentence.

"It wasn't my intention and I'm deeply sorry," he said.

Kinnucan pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud. He has been imprisoned since he was accused of making obscenity-laced phone calls to prosecutors and FBI agents.

The judge decried his "obscene, hateful, despicable and repetitive" rants left on voicemails for prosecutors and FBI agents and dismissed arguments by a defense lawyer that he should get leniency because he suffered the effects of alcoholism and depression.

"His sense of entitlement and anger are equal if not greater than alcoholism and gambling" issues he faced, Batts said.

Kinnucan admitted giving hedge funds and money managers inside information between 2008 and 2010, when he was president of Broadband Research LLC in Portland.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called the sentencing "a fitting conclusion to a criminal odyssey that began with the buying and selling of inside information and evolved into a vile and very public campaign to threaten public servants and obstruct the federal investigation into Kinnucan's conduct."

Prosecutors said Kinnucan made nearly 25 threatening telephone calls to prosecutors and agents, making repeated references to genocide, sexual and other forms of violence and threatened physical harm to one of the prosecutors working on the case. The government said he also made multiple calls to a cooperating witness and tried to contact another in an attempt to intimidate and harass them.

Besides the prison sentence, Kinnucan must forfeit $164,000 and undergo various programs for alcoholism, depression and anger management.

Kinnucan's lawyer, Jennifer Brown, said her client had lost everything, including his marriage, his business and his money, and could never work in finance again.

"He became unhinged and lashed out at his world," she said as she asked that his sentence be limited to two years in prison. "He's having trouble seeing hope for the future."

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Benton Massey said Kinnucan's harassment of investigators was "absolutely frightening, appalling and stunning" and could not be explained away because they occurred over a period of months.

"We don't think alcohol or depression or a level of stress can explain it," he said.