NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors unsealed a complaint Friday accusing a New York man of threatening to kill 47 current and former officials at U.S. regulatory agencies.
The government said Vincent McCrudden of Long Island made the threat after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission brought an enforcement action accusing him and two companies he controls of operating unregistered commodity pools.
It said the threats were made against officials of the CFTC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the National Futures Association.
McCrudden's arrest comes amid heightened concern for the safety of public officials, after last Saturday's shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others in Tucson, Arizona. A federal judge, John Roll, was among those who died in that shooting.
Bruce Barket, a lawyer for McCrudden who described himself as a long-time friend, said his client is not guilty.
"He is at times ill-mannered and short-tempered, and not very articulate in terms of expressing himself," Barket said in an interview. "But the idea that he was actually threatening somebody is ludicrous."
The complaint against McCrudden quotes various, sometimes profane emails and website postings allegedly made by him, faulting the activities of various regulators.
In one alleged email, McCrudden is said to have told an CFTC lawyer: "You can tell that fucking corrupt piece of Goldman Sachs shit (G.G.) I am coming after him as well."
The G.G. reference is to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, according to the complaint. Gensler had previously worked for 18 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, where he became co-head of finance, according to his official biography.
The complaint said McCrudden has been living in Singapore for the last few months.
He was arrested Thursday at Newark-Liberty International Airport. Barket said the defendant had been out of the country, and "came back to answer these charges."
McCrudden is expected to appear in court later Friday.
The case is U.S. v. McCrudden, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 10-01503.