NEW YORK A former commodities trader pleaded guilty on Monday to threatening to kill more than 40 financial regulators, including the heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Vincent McCrudden, 50, admitted in court that he posted the threats on his company's website last December, asking for help executing his plan. His guilty plea came the day testimony was to begin in his federal trial, said his lawyer Bruce Barket.
McCrudden pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York, to two counts of transmission of threats to injure.
His posts included the names of current and former officials including SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, as well as officials at the National Futures Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
"These people have got to go! And I need your help, there are just too many for me alone," McCrudden wrote in one post, according to the indictment.
He also sent an email last September to Daniel Driscoll, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the NFA, that said: "It wasn't ever a question of 'if' I was going to kill you, it was just a question of when."
McCrudden faces up to 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for December 5.
McCrudden worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years, specializing in commodities, derivatives and foreign exchange, according to his biography on the website of his company, Alnbri Management LLC.
"This defendant crossed the line when he directly threatened to kill public officials who were working to keep our financial markets fair and open, and invited others to join him," Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
Barket, of law firm Quadrino Schwartz, said McCrudden apologized in court when he entered his plea. He called his client "a talented, decent guy who will find other work."
The case is U.S. v. McCrudden, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 11-00061.
(Reporting by Jennifer Golson, editing by Matthew Lewis)