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The New York Times is reporting that, indeed, life does imitate art: On Wednesday, authorities arrested two dudes, one of whom is an I-banker at UBS, for masterminding a "moderately clever" insider trading scheme. Though the amount of money they "re-appropriated" is bush league compared to the work of top bananas like Uncle Bernie, the best part is that these guys were communicating using cryptic language, i.e. codewords -- a la Bud Fox in Wall Street.

Now, I've often entertained the idea in the privacy of my head that I am a spy working on behalf of the Fox News network, loudly identifying communists whenever I see them. And I think we've all employed coded jargon with our wingmen on blind dates and at girlfriends' office parties. For example: "Okay, if I say 'Eggo Waffles' twice, it means that I'm going with the 'I'm the heir to the Walmart fortune' approach, and if I say 'Swamp Thing' it means we need to plan a full retreat before being eaten alive by this horizontally-gifted she-bank-teller."

However, in this case, the culprits were two Russian transplants, whose lingo included talk about frequent flier miles and wedding registries, resulting in "gems" like: "Let me know if you've started your wedding registry at Macy's," and "Happy to talk about sales items and etc ... sale ends soon ... so hurry up."

Blue HorsePoo loves Andicott Seal.

I'm sure that there are many-a-congressman who could take a lesson from these guys when employing coded signals to ask for sexual favors from their male aides.

I would love to know what it was that finally got these guys caught. Was the red flag the fact that these guys were talking about buying bras at Macy's?

It's great to see that the SEC is finally doing some really, really thorough, old fashioned sleuthing. They probably hired Rex Banner for this one.

Anyone have any good stories involving coded lingo?


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Comments (7)

  • Marcus_Halberstram's picture

    These guys were just plain dumb.

    Why would you use code words like frequent flier miles and Macy's sales... and then go around writing each other checks and wiring money to eachother's brokerage accounts. So on Monday Egor wires 5K to Vladamir and tells him, I just got 5K frequent flier miles... and no one is going to crack their code? Not quite KGB are they?

    Since when did the currency of ill repute turn into wire transfers and checks? I guess they were burning all their Rubels to keep warm.

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