HedgeCo News - A judge has asked to see a transcript of 18 spousal conversations in the case against Craig Drimal, a trader for the Galleon Group of hedge funds, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
Federal agents were eavesdropping on the couple, it was revealed, intercepting 164 calls between Drimal and his wife during two months in late 2007 and early 2008. The hedge fund trader's defense lawyer complained the calls were of an "intensely personal nature," and is asking the judge to leave the recordings out of the trial.
"In court documents that were recently unsealed with redactions, many of the intercepted spousal calls were of a profoundly personal nature, and yet agents continued to listen to them far in excess of the time necessary to determine that they were spousal calls." The defense said.
The defense has also accused the government of having a "cavalier disregard for marital privacy, (the agents) intercepted 330 calls between Drimal and family members, including his three children, his siblings and his in-laws." The judge said it was unlikely he would exclude the wiretap evidence against Drimal from the trial.
Drimal, who has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to go on trial in May on suspicion of securities fraud charges.
In order to curtail federal wiretapping, hedge fund managers have begun hiring security firms "to comb their offices and homes for listening devices." Bloomberg reported today.