Confessions from the City: The Wall Street inmate

Michael Kimelman
Lockdown:

I heard the door crash. Within a minute, I was in the Feds’ handcuffs, my wife and kids cowering in a bedroom.

I was marched off in front of TV camera crews, who had been alerted.

A suburban husband, I’d switched from a suffocating job in a law firm to high-risk prop trading, making and losing tens of thousands a day.

I’d rubbed shoulders with Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Leo DiCaprio (though I’m no Wolf of Wall Street), downing cocktails of an evening.

Before it all came crashing down in 2009, I was offered a sweetheart probation deal but maintained my innocence. I was convicted of securities fraud and sentenced to 30 months at Lewisburg Penitentiary, which Al Capone once called home.

To roll back: Martin Shkreli and I didn’t get on.

I happened to be on a trading floor when he was a mere day-trading mortal before morphing into “the most hated man in the world” for jacking up the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim.

He was attempting to demonstrate his biotech trading brilliance when I, ahem, expressed my opinion.

We ended up butting heads, almost coming to blows.

Unfortunately, the other guy he was showing off in front of happened also to be a wired FBI informant.

Later, my firm Incremental Capital was in desperate need of cash.

RBC Capital had pulled its dough.

On the hunt for “alternative” sources of funding, I scored a chance meeting with 50 Cent and his entourage. I remember walking into his office.

The door looked grenade-proof. The entrance was protected by an enormous guy wearing a baggy, dark denim outfit that could have housed a family of refugees.

To my surprise, Fiddy agreed to the deal but, just before signing it, I got cold feet.

My partner was raging, why pull it now? I responded: “When my business deals go bad, I want a pinstriped lawyer coming after me with a Montblanc pen, not a gangster with a Glock 9.”

In the end, I’d got in with the wrong people in hedge-fund land, who turned on me.

I ended up in Lewisburg.

My cell was smaller than the SUV I’d driven my kids to school in.

On being complimented (“hey, Jew with the tattoo, you got a nice ass”), I was told it might be wise to cover up until I was actually underneath the showerhead.

I broke up the drudgery by teaching prisoners to read and striking up an unlikely friendship with a lifer Aryan Nation inmate.

I was prisoner #62876054 and, after a career in numbers, that’s one I won’t forget.

Michael Kimelman’s Confessions of a Wall Street Insider, written in prison, is available through Amazon

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