“A former commodities trader pleaded guilty on Monday to threatening to kill more than 40 financial regulators, including the heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC]," Reuters reported.
The accused, Vincent McCrudden, 50, admitted that he sent death threats and the he even went so far as to attempt to recruit assassins. His guilty plea came the day testimony was to begin in his federal trial, said his lawyer Bruce Barket.
McCrudden worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years, specializing in commodities, derivatives and foreign exchange, according to his biography on the website of his company, Alnbri Management LLC.
McCrudden-- who had previously denied sending menacing e-mails to a high-ranking official of the National Futures Association and posting death threats to his company's website -- pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York, to two counts of “transmission of threats to injure.”
In his ominous and threatening posts, he included the names of current and former officials including SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, as well as officials at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Reuters reports that he wrote, "These people have got to go! And I need your help, there are just too many for me alone," in one post.
He also sent an email last September to Daniel Driscoll, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the NFA, that said: "It wasn't ever a question of 'if' I was going to kill you, it was just a question of when."
"This defendant crossed the line when he directly threatened to kill public officials who were working to keep our financial markets fair and open, and invited others to join him," Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
Barket, of law firm Quadrino Schwartz, said McCrudden apologized in court when he entered his plea. He called his client "a talented, decent guy who will find other work."
His defense is that he only intended the threats to be "provocative," but that he had no intention of actually harming anyone.
McCrudden, who has been in federal lockup since his January arrest at Newark Airport after a flight from Singapore, will remain jailed until his sentencing.
His confession follows fresh evidence from federal prosecutors that links McCrudden to a Sept. 30 e-mail to Dan Driscoll, the chief operating officer of the National Futures Association.
The new evidence would have shown that McCrudden used the same IP address from a hotel in Singapore to send the threatening e-mail as he did to make threats via Facebook. In a Facebook posting from the same hotel in October, McCrudden allegedly offered $344,850 "to any group or organiziation [sic] with proof of killing" a group of regulators, including Driscoll.
"In the anonymous e-mail to Driscoll, McCrudden said he hired trained assassins to kill Driscoll, whose 'body will never be found' because it would be in 'little bits and pieces.' McCrudden tried to cover his tracks by sending the e-mail in the name of Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler, who was also on McCrudden's hit list. Gensler had been scheduled to testify against McCrudden on Wednesday," The New York Post reported.
If convicted, McCrudden could face up to 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for December 5.