The trial for USA v Tzolov and Butler 08-370 started this week in New York's U.S. District Court for the Eastern District.
The case involves two former Wall Street brokers that worked for Credit Suisse Group AG, Eric Butler and Julian Tzolov. They were charged with fraudulently dealing in subprime mortgage-backed auction rate securities (ARS) for corporate clients who specifically requested much safer investments.
The trial seems to be a pass the blame for the defense. The prosecution's argument is that the brokers mislead clients about auction rate securities deals, because of greed in trying to earn millions of dollars in commissions for risky investments instead of much safer investments such as government-guaranteed student loans. The defense cites an entirely different argument, they attribute the losses of the investments to the collapse of the real estate market instead of GREED.
It is important to note that one of the brokers, Tzolov, saw the writing on the wall and recently struck a deal with the prosecution. Eric Butler, pleaded not guilty, and decided to try his luck with a jury. His former partner in crime, Tzolov, struck a deal after pleading guilty, and will be a witness for the prosecution. His testimony should really be interesting.
According to a recent article published by Reuters
"The defendant and his partner promised something better, a better opportunity," U.S. prosecutor Greg Andres said in opening arguments to the jury.
"They did not honor that promise. They invested in securities the clients didn't ask for and didn't want."
This is an important trial to watch regarding investment fraud. The defense is trying to blame the market for the loss of the investors, instead of what seems to plague many Wall Street brokers and others accused of Securities and Investment fraud: GREED.
This makes me think of a statement from the famous fictional villain, Gordon Gekko, in the Oliver Stone movie Wall Street, "Greed is Good". I imagine that people such as Bernie Madoff, Michael Milken, Robert Allen Stanford, Arthur Nadel would all agree that "Greed carries a high price tag".
What will happen in the USA v Tzolov and Butler 08-370 case and the fate of former broker Eric Butler's fate? Time will tell...