James M. Becker, a shareholder in the White-Collar Defense and Investigations practice at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Philadelphia office, was quoted in an October 13, 2009, article published in the Los Angeles Times.

According to the article, titled "Trial to begin for two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers," "Federal prosecutors allege that former Bear Stearns Cos. fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin — in a frantic, eventually unsuccessful scramble in mid-2007 to keep their mortgage bond funds from collapsing — misled investors about the deepening woes in the portfolios. … Cioffi and Tannin are charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy."

The article went on to explain that "Prosecutors are expected to build their case on a series of e-mails in which the defendants privately despaired over their troubled funds even as they kept touting them to investors." Despite such apprehensions, "the men told their bosses they were confident about the health of the funds."

Recently, prosecutors submitted new e-mails in which Tannin allegedly expressed concern about the funds' "blow-up risk" in November 2006.

The e-mails make for a convincing case, some experts, like Becker, say.

"It's an uphill battle to persuade a jury that you didn't mean what you said" in the e-mails, Becker said.