Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Go, Bill Barzee, Go!

My suite-mate Bill Barzee showed the SDNY how we roll down here in the SDFLA. He threw a bunch of great body blows today during his opening for Zvi Goffer, the off-shoot of the Raj Rajaratnam case. Via Reuters, the prosecutor threw the first jab:

The opening statements in the Manhattan federal court trial began with a prosecutor, Andrew Fish, turning around to point his right forefinger at one of the three defendants, securities trader Zvi Goffer, and call him "the ring leader of this criminal scheme."

Goffer, 34, who once worked at Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon Group and two other trading firms, is on trial with his brother and fellow trader Emanuel Goffer, 32, and another trader, Michael Kimelman, 40. The trial comes a week after Rajaratnam was found guilty of insider trading by a jury in the same courthouse.

Barzee then gave the smack down:

"Zvi Goffer, you're fired. That's what Raj Rajaratnam told Zvi Goffer," Goffer's lawyer, William Barzee, said as he began his opening statement, echoing the well-known real estate developer Trump's trademark phrase on his reality TV show. "He was fired because he lost so much money."

Barzee said his client waded into "the river of gossip" of Wall Street for tips and speculation, not for improperly leaked secrets as the government charges. "He was like a gold prospector searching for gold in a river," Barzee said.

Prosecutors have described the broad Galleon probe as the biggest investigation ever of insider trading at hedge funds.

The Goffer brothers and Kimelman are accused of bribing two lawyers at the prominent law firm Ropes & Gray with tens of thousands of dollars for secret information on takeover targets. The case of each man will be decided separately at the trial, which is expected to last up to five weeks.

I just love this part:

Barzee told the jury that another lawyer -- Jason Goldfarb, who the government says also passed tips to the defendants -- was a workers' compensation lawyer who had nothing to do with corporate mergers.

He said Zvi Goffer had a nickname for Goldfarb -- GQ.

"It stood for 'Gossip Queen.' That was the kind of guy Jason Goldfarb was. He would repeat anything that he ever heard from anyone" talking to Zvi Goffer "endlessly about dozens and dozens of stocks." Goldfarb has pleaded guilty.

Go get em Bill.

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