August 7, 2017 / 8:50 PM / 2 years ago

Former FrontPoint manager, out of jail, wants to run prison ministry

(Reuters) - A former manager at defunct hedge fund FrontPoint Partners who served more than three years in prison for insider trading on Monday asked a U.S. judge to end his supervised release early so he can help a run a Christian ministry aimed at prisoners.

FILE PHOTO: Joseph "Chip" Skowron, who ran FrontPoint Partners' healthcare funds, exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York April 13, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, a lawyer for Joseph “Chip” Skowron said the request was warranted in light of his client’s “exemplary” behavior since his April 2011 arrest.

While serving time at Schuylkill Federal Prison Camp in Pennsylvania, Skowron, 48, worked as a tutor, started a Sunday Bible study and led Monday morning religious meetings, according to his lawyer Joshua Epstein.

After serving the last several months of his sentence in home confinement and following his release last November, Skowron co-founded a chapter of the New Canaan Society, a Connecticut-based Christian group, Epstein wrote. The chapter, NCS Inside, is devoted to ministering to federal and state prison inmates.

The NCS website describes itself as a men’s-only group who “gather together to encourage each other in friendship and faith.”

Epstein said prisons have refused to let Skowron enter to meet with prisoners because he is on supervised release.

“This is limiting Mr. Skowron’s efforts on behalf of NCS Inside, as well as NCS Inside’s effectiveness and reach,” Epstein wrote.

Federal prosecutors are not objecting to Skowron’s request, according to Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Skowron pleaded guilty in August 2011 to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and obstruct justice, admitting that he traded in the securities of Human Genome Sciences Inc in 2008 based on non-public information.

In a separate civil case, Skowron was ordered to pay back $31 million of his compensation to Morgan Stanley, which owned FrontPoint between 2006 and 2011, minus a $6 million penalty he was already ordered to pay in his criminal case.

Investors began pulling out of FrontPoint in the wake of the insider trading charges, ultimately forcing the firm, which once managed as much as $11 billion, to shut down.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

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