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US hedgie trial goes to a jury

City A.M. Reporter
THE trial of two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers went to a jury yesterday, in the case of the first high-profile Wall Street executives criminally charged with fraud over subprime mortgage-backed securities that fuelled the market meltdown.<br /><br />US prosecutors called a score of witnesses and cited hundreds of documentary exhibits for their case in a New York court in which they accused Ralph Cioffi, 53, and Matthew Tannin, 48, of lying to investors over the health of their funds in 2007 at an early point in the financial crisis.<br /><br />The two men have pleaded not guilty to the charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Cioffi has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of insider trading.<br /><br />US district judge Frederic Block took more than 90 minutes to instruct the 12 jurors on the charges in Brooklyn federal court.<br /><br />&ldquo;There is a lot here to absorb, I understand that,&rdquo; Block told the jurors, who have heard four weeks of arguments and testimony about the world of hedge funds, leveraging, repo lending and subprime mortgage-backed securities.