Saturday, August 29, 2015

Securities Fraud Defendant Gets Bail Because of Religious Affiliations

A major defendant in a massive securities fraud and money laundering case has been granted bail by a Brooklyn federal judge in large part because of the defendant's religious ties and credentials. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News report details.  Vitaly Korchevsky is both a former Morgan Stanley Vice President and for decades has been a Baptist pastor.  He is charged with making more than $17 million in profits in an elaborate international scheme in which hackers broke into the computers of financial news disseminators and stole some 150,000 press releases.  They then passed information from the still confidential press releases to traders in the United States and Ukraine who realized $100 million profit in total from them. Korchevsky was born in Kazakhstan, and lived while young in the former Soviet Union, where he was beaten for keeping Bibles.  He is a prominent figure in the Slavic Baptist Church in the U.S. and elsewhere and serves as chairman of an association of 28 churches. 80 to 90 of his supporters showed up at his bail hearing.  In granting release on $2 million bond, Judge Raymond Dearie cited  "the faith that hundreds of people have put in [Korchevsky]."