As Criminal Trial Looms, Small Victory for Bear Stearns Hedge Fund Manager Matthew Tannin

The notable indictment, arrest and prosecution of Matthew Tannin and Ralph Cioffi, two hedge fund managers for the now-defunct Bear Stearns Asset Management (BSAM) has, at least for Tannin, taken a momentarily beneficial turn.  Accused of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud, and with trial looming, Tannin moved to suppress a purportedly damaging e-mail the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had recovered from his personal e-mail account with a search warrant.  The Honorable Frederic Block, who presides over the case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, agreed with Tannin that the search warrant was deficient, the resulting search unconstitutional and that the United States Attorney’s Office could not cure the error.  As a result, on October 26, 2009, the court ordered the e-mail suppressed on the eve of trial.  We describe the background of the action and the court’s legal analysis with respect to Tannin’s motion to suppress.

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