He's either a hero or a buffoon, but John Kinnucan, a tech analyst with Broadband Research, did nearly everything he could to goad the FBI until they came and got him.
On Thursday, federal agents arrested him at his Portland, Oregon home on charges of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. Today he's expected to be arraigned and eventually prosecuted in New York. For the last two years, Kinnucan has been publicly taunting the FBI, on television and in print, as it carries out its much-touted "biggest insider-trading probe in a generation." The lesson? Insulting the Feds is probably a bad idea.
Kinnucan's troubles started in October 2010 when FBI agents asked him to secretly tape his clients to assist the FBI's insider trading probe. Not only did Kinnucan refuse—he went on CNBC to bash the Feds over its proposal:
HOST: "A lot of people say, don't mess with the Feds when they come into your yard and ask for your cooperation you're better off giving it. Most people would say you certainly don' t want to go on television. But you've chosen to do that. I'm just curious as to why?"
KINNUCAN: "I feel very strongly I've done nothing wrong. My clients have done nothing wrong... I just felt it was the right thing to do."