ZOLOFT – WELLBUTRIN-INDUCED SUICIDE: OFFICER TOM FORT, JR’s MESSAGE FROM THE GRAVE

 

Elaine and Tommy

Elaine Billings and her son Officer Thomas Fort, Jr.

A New York State Police Officer, Tommy, lost his life to Zoloft and Wellbutrin

but then came back with a message for his mother and us all….

Everyone, and especially those who have lost a loved on to an antidepressant-induced suicide, needs to hear Tommy’s message to his mother from the grave. His statement is the truth for all who have died on these deadly antidepressants and the same message they would all bring to their loved ones if they could find a way! It is the message I have worked to bring out with my book and my work for two over decades and Tommy’s message only confirms it. Everyone needs to know this!

Please click the link below to watch this video about Tommy and hear his message.

Tommy’s Story: The story of Tommy Fort as written by his mom Elaine Billings. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AqtqbL-Wic&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D3AqtqbL-Wic&app=desktop

Tommy was an investigator and hostage negotiator for the New York State Police. Over 700 people attended his wake.

His mother says this is the only thing she knows to do….she says, “tell my Tommy’s story. His was not a planned suicide. He got up that Thursday morning and cleaned the pool, mowed the lawn, called a friend to have lunch the next day, called the DA to set up a meeting for the following week on a case they were both involved with.”

“Tommy’s wife went out with her mother and Tommy was going to spend the day with his two children, aged 9 and 11.”

“His son asked him if he would go pick up a friend for him to play with. Tommy said yes, and went and got him.”

“Then sometime close to 1:00 o’clock his daughter asked him if  he would go get her friend. Again Tommy said yes.”

“But he never made it there, instead he drove to a big downtown parking lot and got his work gun out of his locked trunk, got back into the car, placed the gun to his head and pulled the trigger!”

“I have asked myself over and over what happened? What agony? Psychotic break? What happened to his mind? When I think of what terrible thing or thoughts hit him to make him think that the only thing he could do is kill himself… sometimes it feels like it’s eating me up, but I know I have to stay strong because  it is what he would want me to do.”

“I know he didn’t mean it, because he came to me and told me. I am now his voice and I will be his voice until I breathe my last breath! The reason is easy for me, I love him with every ounce of my being!”

WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

The FDA also now warns that any abrupt change in dose of an antidepressant can produce suicide, hostility or psychosis. And these reactions can either come on very rapidly or even be delayed for months depending upon the adverse effects upon sleep patterns when the withdrawal is rapid! You can find the CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: http://store.drugawareness.org/

Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & http://ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

Memory Loss on Zyban (Wellbutrin)

“I just wanted to share this, so sister/fellow sufferers won’t have to settle for these drugs.”

 

I actually have been on Zyban (Wellbutrin) just recently and in trying to get off of it, am having that same dang “EBP” that I did with Effexor!! Dizzy, running into things, moody/crying, and this weird thing like you’d expect to find with someone who’s had a stroke. I KNOW what I want to say, but I can’t bring the picture into my mind, so I can’t bring up the name. If that makes sense. I don’t mean words that I can’t think of because they’re stuck in my long-term memory, but words like “Popsicle” and “scone”. Even worse are words that are abstract, such as “audible” and “trepidation” (of which I am having quite a bit of, I must say!). Have you heard of anything like this with others on Buproprion? And if so, when does it pass?? DOES it pass???

I have always been very articulate, having started reading at age 3, and have a love of language and words. I can go look up a word in the dictionary, and 20 minutes later finds me still at the book, actually reading it! I am very concerned about this side effect/withdrawal, this “dead zone” created in my brain.

I know Effexor effects epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin…..which is the same thing the cocaine effects! I do know that PTSD sufferers seem to have damage to the endocrine system, and the epinephrine and norepinephrine are involved. Effexor, initially, worked miracles for me (I had tried EVERY kind of therapy known to help). I found a therapy called EMDR, which worked miracles……..LASTING miracles. I just wanted to share this and pass it along, so sister/fellow sufferers won’t have to settle for these drugs when they just might have a much better avenue! A lasting one, WITHOUT SIDE EFFECTS.

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 63.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

Effexor Survivor

” I was taking Effexor into about my second week when I tried to commit suicide.”

My name is Amanda and I was taking Effexor into about my second week when I tried to commit suicide.

I firmly believe that this drug played a huge part in my doing so. I would never even entertain that idea under any depression that I had been through. I was the type of person who could not understand how a person could inflict pain upon themselves.

I have been tried on every drug that you can just about think of. Now I am labeled bipolar and take Seroquel at bedtime, and Wellbutrin in the day. High doses I might add, but the point I want to stick too is the fact that Effexor changed my whole personality my whole outlook on life and I didn’t even realize it. It was like I went crazy!

I believe that I have been used over and over as a guinea pig. I am 31 years old and I have been taking different meds since 1996. When tried on Effexor in 2001 I came very close to ending my life.

twnsmom2@aol.com

Wellbutrin destroyed my soul

Wellbutrin destroyed my soul
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)

Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it.
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

WELLBUTRIN & BUSPAR: Anna Nicole Smith’s Doctor on Meds Had Affair w/Her

Last sentence of paragraph two reads:  “Kapoor’s journal
also indicated he himself was abusing Ambien, BuSpar, and
Wellbutrin: ‘I have to get off the drugs,’ he wrote in
2002.

http://www.newser.com/story/72825/2nd-doc-hooked-up-with-anna.html

 

2nd Doc Hooked Up With Anna

 

Sandeep Kapoor wrote in diary about tryst with Anna Nicole
Smith

By Evann Gastaldo|

(Newser) – Just in case
anyone thought the Anna Nicole Smith hearing couldn’t get any kinkier: It can,
and it did. An investigator testified yesterday that Smith physician Sandeep
Kapoor­who is facing charges along with psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich
and lawyer Howard K. Stern­had a less-than-professional relationship with
Smith, “making out” with her and providing her with drugs, E!

 

reports.

The investigator found a journal in which Kapoor wrote, in
2005, “I was making out with Anna, my patient, blurring the lines. I gave her
Methadone, Valium. Can she ruin me?” Eroshevich is also accused of having an
inappropriate relationship with Smith. Kapoor’s journal also indicated he
himself was abusing Ambien, BuSpar, and Wellbutrin: “I have to get off the
drugs,” he wrote in 2002.

597 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Serious Asault for Declining to Shake Hand of Stranger: AU

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy:

Please note that this young man had been given antidepressants
two years before after a car accident that was so serious that they other driver
died at the scene. In such an accident the head is jerked so violently that even
though it may not be apparent there is generally a closed head injury as the
brain slams against the skull. Antidepressants are contraindicated in those with
head injuries and in my opinion should never be given after an accident like
this.
For additional reference on this aspect the warnings
on Wellbutrin seem to be one of the most detailed for those with head
injuries.
Second through fourth paragraphs from the end read:  ”
‘His behaviour on that night was entirely out of character,‘  Mr
Clarke said.”

“ ‘Mr Mansfield does not represent an ongoing threat to the
community’.”

“Mr Clarke said Mansfield had been on

antidepressants since a traffic accident in 2006 when the elderly
driver of the car he collided with died at the scene.”

http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/story/2009/10/17/punch-knocks-teeth-out/

Punch knocks teeth out

Kieran Campbell | 17th October 2009

WHEN a man wouldn’t

shake Daniel Liam Mansfield’s hand during Australia Day celebrations he punched
him so hard it snapped a tooth off at the gum.

Tipping the scales at
150kg, Mansfield, nicknamed Tank by his mates, packed plenty of
punch.

His victim, 80kg Joseph Leonard McLucas, was only hit once but
would still undergo more than $20,000 worth of restorative dental
work.

The pair were strangers to each other when they met on East Street,
Rockhampton, on the morning of January 27 last year.

Mr McLucas, 18,
politely refused to shake hands and walked away before Mansfield, 25, landed the
costly blow.

Mr McLucas fell to his knees and started spitting up blood
and teeth.

One tooth was snapped off at the gum and another was knocked
completely out. Other teeth were chipped and loose.

Mansfield walked past
the teenager, telling him he should have shaken his hand.

He jumped into
his car and was driven to a service station where he washed a cut on his hand

from the attack.

Back on East Street, a mate took off his shirt to apply
pressure to Mr McLucas’s mouth before an ambulance arrived and took him to
Rockhampton Hospital.

Mr McLucas was then taken to a Brisbane hospital to

have his lip reconstructed.

On Thursday Mansfield blubbered in
Rockhampton District Court after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily
harm to Mr McLucas.

He wiped his nose with tissues from his pocket as
barrister Jeff Clarke told the court Mansfield was “a young man of high
character” who was “very sorry for what he did”.

Mansfield was jailed for

two years but he will only spend six months behind bars.

Crown prosecutor
Julie Marsden described the Australia Day incident as an “unprovoked, cowardly
attack on a young man”.

Mansfield was supported in court by his
girlfriend and by his parents, who he lives with at Taroomball, between Yeppoon
and Emu Park on the Capricorn Coast.

Mr Clarke handed up in court a large
series of references for the machinery operator who he said “is not the type of
fellow who goes around looking for trouble”.

“His behaviour on that night
was entirely out of character,” Mr Clarke said.

“Mr Mansfield does not
represent an ongoing threat to the community.

Mr Clarke said Mansfield
had been on antidepressants since a traffic accident in 2006 when the elderly
driver of the car he collided with died at the scene.

Mansfield asked his
barrister to offer a public apology to Mr McLucas.

ZOLOFT & WELLBUTRIN: Teen Attempts Suicide: Louisiana

First two paragraphs read:  “Now drug-free, J.K., a
Narconon Louisiana drug rehabilitation treatment graduate, tells the story of
how his addiction started and how it ended. J.K. spent his adolescent years
under the care of a psychiatrist. He started seeing the doctor when he was
12 or 13 up until the time he was 19 years old. Ten to
fifteen minutes into his first visit
he was diagnosed with bipolar
disorder, anxiety and unstable emotions. He was given Zoloft,
Atavan, and Klonopin as treatment.”

“Not only were J.K.’s
symptoms not helped by the drugs, but because of the side
effects of the Zoloft
he began experiencing suicidal
thoughts.
Due to these side effects his medication was switched to

Welbutrin, which not only increased his suicidal thoughts, but
caused him to overdose on his medications in what would be his
first suicide attempt. The FDA has since placed a black box warning on antidepressants warning of
this occurrence in adolescents and young adults.”

http://www.prleap.com/pr/142396/

Narconon Louisiana drug rehab graduate traces roots of addiction back to
psychiatric medications

DENHAM
SPRINGS, LOUISIANA
October 20, 2009 Health News

(PRLEAP.COM) Now drug-free, J.K., a Narconon
Louisiana drug rehabilitation treatment graduate, tells the story of how his
addiction started and how it ended. J.K. spent his adolescent years under the
care of a psychiatrist. He started seeing the doctor when he was 12 or 13 up
until the time he was 19 years old. Ten to fifteen minutes into his first visit
he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety and unstable emotions. He was
given Zoloft, Atavan, and Klonopin as treatment.

Not only were J.K.’s
symptoms not helped by the drugs, but because of the side effects of the Zoloft
he began experiencing suicidal thoughts. Due to these side effects his
medication was switched to Welbutrin, which not only increased his suicidal
thoughts, but caused him to overdose on his medications in what would be his
first suicide attempt. The FDA has since placed a black
box warning on antidepressants
warning of this occurrence in adolescents and
young adults.

In a recent interview J.K. explains that because of what he
had been told by his psychiatrist, he began to think that everything he was
thinking or feeling could be controlled by some kind of pill or
substance.

“Most times, these substances could be found in my own home,
inside little orange prescription bottles,” he explains, “[But then] I began
developing addictive personality traits by turning to street drugs, like
marijuana, cocaine, and pain killers to numb my emotions. Why? Because,
essentially, I had been told that having emotions is a disease that requires
treatment, or ‘management’.”

Once J.K. became addicted to street drugs as
well as his prescriptions, his problems continued to escalate. Luckily, before
he lost his life to drugs he found a rehabilitation facility with a totally drug-free
method
called Narconon Riverbend; located in Denham Springs,

Louisiana.

During his treatment he had to come to terms with his past
problems as well as the road that his psychiatric therapy led him
down.

“I had let drugs take over my life to such a huge extent that I was
no longer able to take care of myself or those around me,” he says. “I regret
that I have been lied to by a multi-billion dollar Psychiatric industry. I
regret that I tried to end my own life twice. I’m angry that these events were
the ‘side-effects’ of psychotropic medication. I especially regret the effect
that these events had on my family.”

No longer holding on to regret, J.K.
has now successfully overcome his prescription and street drug addiction and is
happily living life 100% drug-free. Today he is in control of his life – not a
psychiatrist, not street drugs or prescriptions.

J.K. does warn doctors
in the type of medications they prescribe, saying; “Next time you hand out a
prescription for the latest fad in psych meds, remember that your signature
could be the worst thing that ever happened to your ‘patient’”.

The
Narconon program specializes in getting people off all drugs and has helped
thousands become free from medications. If you or someone you know is addicted
to street drugs or prescriptions and is looking for a way to successfully get
off drugs permanently contact Narconon Louisiana today at
866-422-4650.

Prozac/SSRIs: Woman’s Symptoms Worsen Beyond Original Symptoms From Withdrawal

Page seven reads [in part]:  “My doc and I tried a lot of
other medications along the way, and I had all the classic side effects.  I
went hypomanic on the Prozac, so we added mood stabilizers
to even me out.  I lost interest in sex, so we tried another
antidepressant, Wellbutrin, to bring me back.  We switched,
jiggered, and recombined, looking for that perfect pickle.  But if one
thing didn’t give me a rash or panic attacks, then it made me gobble salty junk
food in the middle of the night.  I tried most of the majors, and burned
through their effects.  I got scrawny, then fat,
petrified, then out of control, sexless, then
sex-obsessed.”

“Eventually the dope just doesn’t work the way it used
to.  Even Klonipin needs a boost to keep hammering you.  And that’s
when they start referring to you in whispered tones as ‘medication-resistant’.”

So I ended up in the bin that
first time, to do some serious recalibration.  I was all used up.

In the space of a few years, I went from being just
another twenty-something have a good old-fashioned life crisis to being a
pscyhotropic junky.”

Page 280 [ 3rd paragraph] reads:  “I
know that when I go off medication I feel far worse than I ever felt
before I took it,
and I have never been able to stand the downside for
more than a few months, so I don’t know how long my brain
might take to recalibrate, if it can.”

http://www.amazon.com/Voluntary-Madness-Year-Found-Loony/dp/0670019712/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252891043&sr=1-1

Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin
(Hardcover)

by Norah
Vincent

Norah Vincent (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers
Weekly
Vincent’s first trip to a mental institution­to which the
writing of Self-Made Man drove her­convinced her that further
immersion would give her great material for a follow-up. The grand tour consists
of voluntary commitments to a hospital mental ward, a small private facility and
a boutique facility; but Vincent’s efforts to make a big statement about the
state of mental health treatment quickly give way to a more personal journey. An
attempt to wean herself off Prozac, for example, adds a greater sense of urgency
to her second research trip, while the therapists overseeing her final treatment
lead her to a major emotional breakthrough. Meanwhile, her fellow patients are
easily able to peg her as an emotional parasite, though this rarely stops them

from interacting with her­and though their neediness sometimes frustrates
her, she is less judgmental of them than of the doctors and nurses. The
conclusions Vincent draws from her experiences tend toward the obvious (the
better the facilities, the better chance for recovery) and the banal: No one can
heal you except you. Though keenly observed, her account never fully transcends
its central gimmick. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a
division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

WELLBUTRIN & LORAZAPAM: Bear Stearns’ Tannin Faces Charges

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy: For years I have said this was bound to
happen as a result of the widespread use of antidepressants. You CANNOT trigger
mania and hypomania is such a wide population without this kind of backlash – it
is impossible! Mania includes risk taking, wild spending, poor judgement, etc.,
etc. and we wonder why we find ourselves now in this financial dilemma?

For two decades this kind of behavior has been repeated over and over and
over again in family after individual family as they fall apart via
antidepressant-induced mania. It is a perfect formula for divorce coupled with
financial ruin. You cannot have this happen in so many individual families and
not have the same happen to the nation.

Utah led the way in antidepressant use and within 7 – 8 years it went
from the lowest divorce rate in the nation to over the national average and
became the bankruptcy capital of the nation.

What will it take for us to learn the lesson of the serious dangers of these
serotonergic medications? And when will we learn as a society to place the blame
for this entire nightmare where it belongs – squarely on the shoulders
of the pharmaceutical industry?!!!

_________________________________________

In words never intended for public consumption, Tannin wrote of his
worries about becoming dependant on an antidepressant, Wellbutrin, and a stress
medication, Lorazapan, to cope with concern about the performance of his
fund.
He expressed satisfaction at earning close to $2m (£1.3m) in a
year but alluded to a “religious crisis” and complained about “schlepping the
kids around from place to place” during a holiday in London.

As his confidence in his money-making panache began to falter, Tannin
pinpointed a meeting in 2006 when he realised that his Bear Stearns fund faced
potential trouble: “I had a wave of fear set over me – that the Fund couldn’t be
run in the way that I was ‘hoping’. And that it was going to subject investors
to ‘blow up risk’.”

Tannin and his boss, Ralph Cioffi, ran two funds
holding $1.4bn of clients’ funds that collapsed in July 2007, an event widely
viewed as the first clear signal of America’s sub-prime mortgage crisis and the
global credit crunch. The meltdown of these funds sparked a chain of events that contributed to the demise of Bear
Stearns
, an 85-year-old Wall Street institution, in early 2008. They
have been charged by US prosecutors with defrauding customers by hiding the true
condition of investments as prospects steadily darkened.

The first high-rolling financiers to face criminal
action arising from the financial crisis, Cioffi and Tannin have become
unwitting poster boys for perceived arrogance, recklessness and irresponsibility
on Wall Street.

Former Wall Street financiers face criminal action

Former Bear Stearns hedge fund manager
Matthew Tannin‘s private jottings show concerns about ‘blow up risk’ to
investors

Bear Stearns HQ

Former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Matthew Tannin and
Ralph Cioffi ran two funds that collapsed in July 2007. Photograph:
Newscast

They are scribblings that may come back to haunt
Matthew Tannin. The former high-flying Bear
Stearns
hedge fund manager – who goes on trial for fraud in a New
York court this week – had a habit of recording his inner-most thoughts in
emails sent to himself on a private Google Mail account.

“I am going to use this to keep my diary,” he wrote. “I didn’t want to use my
work email any more.”

In words never intended for public consumption, Tannin wrote of his worries
about becoming dependant on an antidepressant, Wellbutrin, and a stress
medication, Lorazapan, to cope with concern about the performance of his fund.
He expressed satisfaction at earning close to $2m (£1.3m) in a year but alluded
to a “religious crisis” and complained about “schlepping the kids around from
place to place” during a holiday in London.

As his confidence in his money-making panache began to falter, Tannin
pinpointed a meeting in 2006 when he realised that his Bear Stearns fund faced
potential trouble: “I had a wave of fear set over me – that the Fund couldn’t be
run in the way that I was ‘hoping’. And that it was going to subject investors
to ‘blow up risk’.”

Tannin and his boss, Ralph Cioffi, ran two funds
holding $1.4bn of clients’ funds that collapsed in July 2007, an event widely
viewed as the first clear signal of America’s sub-prime mortgage crisis and the
global credit crunch. The meltdown of these funds sparked a chain of events that contributed to the demise of Bear

Stearns, an 85-year-old Wall Street institution, in early 2008. They
have been charged by US prosecutors with defrauding customers by hiding the true
condition of investments as prospects steadily darkened.

The first high-rolling financiers to face criminal
action arising from the financial crisis, Cioffi and Tannin have become
unwitting poster boys for perceived arrogance, recklessness and irresponsibility
on Wall Street. Frustrated at not seeing higher-ranking bank bosses clapped in
irons, the public and the US media are watching keenly.

“I do think there’s a desire on the part of the public to see people held
accountable,” said Barbara Roper, director of investment protection at the
Consumer Federation of America. “The trouble is that a lot of what brought down
the system was legal.”

According to the government, Tannin and Cioffi stuffed their funds with
dangerous mortgage-linked securities while marketing them as low-risk,
high-quality investments. Federal authorities obtained Tannin‘s deleted email
account by serving a subpoena on Google, forcing the company to search its
archives.

Prosecutors say the pair realised at an early stage that things were going
amiss, exchanging messages remarking that conditions had turned “pretty damn
ugly” and that the sub-prime market was “toast”. But they constantly reassured
customers that they were comfortable, that there were buying opportunities and
that there was no cause for alarm. Behind the scenes, the US government contends
that Cioffi’s private concern was such that he withdrew $2m of his own money,
reducing his own “skin in the game”.

The trial, which begins on Tuesday, is expected to last six weeks, with at
least 38 prosecution witnesses and 500 exhibits. Arrested in June last year,
Cioffi and Tannin have had 16 months to prepare their defence. Their lifestyles
have been widely scrutinised – New York magazine recently reported, in an
unsympathetic tone, that Cioffi had been obliged to sell his beachside retreat
in the Hamptons and two of his three Ferraris.

Legal experts say that it will be a tough case for the government to prove.
Few of the facts of what happened are in dispute. But prosecutors must convince
a jury of the defendants’ state of mind by producing evidence of intent to
defraud.

“The government will need every drop of evidence it has to prove intent,”
said Peter Henning, a white-collar law expert at Wayne State University in
Michigan. “These cases are circumstantial. It’s a string of inferences. It’s
about what they knew and when they knew it.”

They may be the first. But Cioffi and Tannin will by no means be the only
financiers to face criminal proceedings arising from the credit crunch. The FBI
has more than 580 corporate fraud investigations underway, of which at least 40
concern sub-prime mortgage lending.

“New York white-collar lawyers are doing quite well right now responding to
grand jury investigations and the threat of grand jury investigations,” said
Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School. “There’s a sense that quite
a few more are moving down the
pipe.”