Bear Sterns judge rejects two jurors in hedgie trial

TWO jurors serving in the trial of two former Bear Sterns hedge fund managers were yesterday rejected by the judge after they made critical comments about WallStreet. <br /><br />Lawyers for Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin opposed the jurors on the grounds that their bias towards people working in the financial services industry was unfair. <br />In a written questionnaire, one prospective juror said: &ldquo;People on Wall Street try to get away with wrongdoing&rdquo;.<br /><br />The other wrote that big financial firms &ldquo;always try to bend the rules to make as much money as possible&rdquo;.<br /><br />US District Judge Frederic Block read the comments in Brooklyn federal court before questioning other potential jurors from a pool of 78.<br /><br />Prosecutors and defence lawyers are expected to make their opening arguments today in a trial that is likely to last five to six weeks.<br /><br />The hedge fund managers are the first employees from a company that was bailed out by the government to stand criminal trial. The bailout paved the way for JPMorgan Chase to take over Bear Stearns.<br /><br />The two are accused of promoting their hedge funds, which were stuffed with subprime mortgage-backed securities, while privately expressing fears about the assets.