Bear managers acquitted

TWO former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers were acquitted of fraud charges yesterday.<br /><br />In the first case against players in the US subprime mortgage meltdown that contributed to the financial crisis, a jury in a US District Court in New York found hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi, 53, and Matthew Tannin, 48, not guilty after less than six hours of deliberations.<br /><br />The verdict in the month-long trial is a blow for prosecutors and could make future government investigations into the financial crisis less aggressive.<br /><br />Cioffi and Tannin were indicted in June 2008 on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy, one year after two funds they managed failed, costing investors $1.6bn (&pound;956m).<br /><br />The government also charged Cioffi with insider trading, but the jury found him innocent.