Media-Friendly Analyst Gets a Subpoena in Hedge Fund Probe

John Kinnucan, the analyst whose evening wine-tasting was rudely interrupted by FBI agents seeking information for their far-reaching insider-trading investigation, has been subpoenaed by the FBI for all his records from the past two years. Is he talking to the media about this news? You bet!

In reporting the news, Business Insider observed that Mr. Kinnucan is “being called Wall Streets hero” because he declined to wear a wire and then emailed his clients to warn them that the heat was on. As far as The Observer can tell, the hero stuff started with an editorial decision, when a CNBC blog post identified Mr. Kinnucan as a “hero.” (We will acknowledge, however, that Mr. Kinnucan has been called by the eminently cheesy nickname “Nuke.”)

The guy’s supposed courage (and that courage appears for the moment to be supposed mainly by Business Insider and CNBC for reasons that elude me) may actually have aroused regulators’ suspicions about some of his clients.

Kinnucan’s email, which included the names of industry contacts and their company email addresses, has unnerved many on Wall Street. There is a fear that by simply being a recipient on the email, federal authorities may take notice and come visit these contacts too.

In any case, let’s situate the subpoena in the context of one of Kinnucan’s many media statements:

I have even been asked, “Why not just agree to wear the wire to show that no wrongdoing had occurred?”

Unfortunately, that requires assuming that I was asked nicely to cooperate. That was not the nature of the proposal I was offered. (And had I agreed, I have no doubt I would have been asked to record conversations with others as well.)

Mr. Kinnucan is now saying that he is “not scared” and feels he now has a chance to show his innocence. And with that, this Nuke fellow gets another headline.

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor

Media-Friendly Analyst Gets a Subpoena in Hedge Fund Probe