The feds nabbed more bad guys today on Wall Street. Not the ones who cost us more than 7 million jobs or trillions of dollars in losses. Those guys are still at large. No, today, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced with much fanfare that they had nabbed a bunch of guys who allegedly profited about $40 million on improper trading. So many bad guys, so little time.
The men charged at least were colorful — almost as entertaining as the executives who carelessly slammed the economy. There’s a guy dubbed Octopussy. And another one who takes a bite out of his cell phone. It’s like an undiscovered script from Get Smart: Maxwell wakes up one morning convinced that he is James Bond. Here, undoctored, is what happened in the non-too purple prose of Robert Khuzami, enforcement director at the SEC:
Arthur Cutillo, through his friend and fellow attorney Jason Goldfarb, tipped the inside information to a Wall Street trader named Zvi Goffer, who was referred to as “Octopussy” – as in the James Bond movie – because of his reputation for having arms in so many sources of inside information.Goffer would promptly tip the other traders we charge today, at times going to such extraordinary lengths to cover his tracks that he used disposable cell phones.
He gave one of his tippees a disposable cell phone that had two programmed phone numbers labeled “you” and “me.”
After the insider trading was complete, Goffer destroyed the disposable cell phone by removing the SIM card, biting it, and breaking the phone in half.
He threw away half of the phone, and then instructed his tippee to dispose of the other half.
Needless to say, these antics might be appropriate in a James Bond movie.
But Get Smart is the better comparison. And here for your viewing pleasure, the first episode in which we meet Maxwell Smart, his shoe phone (it’s a dial, not push button) and it rings and rings during a concert — much to the surprise and confusion of everyone around him. Now how prescient is that for a show produced in 1965?