Emily Primeaux, CFE
Associate Editor, Fraud Magazine
Andrew Snyder has worked in the criminal justice system for more than 30 years, starting as a correctional officer for the California Department of Corrections. He recently told me in a Fraud Talk podcast interview that this first job within the prison system is what inspired him to “mentor” white-collar criminals before they served their prison sentence.
“I’ve interviewed some of these people who have been in the media because of the noteriaty of their cases to give others information about the process,” says Snyder. “[It shows] how they got to the point where they crossed the line and got into trouble, and how it affected them personally and professionally.”
As he got to know these criminals, Snyder came away with insights and questions about their crimes and what motivated them to cross the line. Inspired, he began the Prison Life podcast, often speaking to the criminals in the time after their sentencing but before going to prison. Snyder recently wrote an article for the March/April issue of Fraud Magazine about what motivates insider traders.
“Someone who’s got a gripe with the company might be a risk and should be looked at,” says Snyder. He used the case of Scott London as an example. London — at the time, a senior partner at a Big 4 accounting firm — was convicted of insider trading after sharing secrets to help a buddy in a tight financial spot. Snyder said that London felt for his friend’s predicament, but also was disillusioned with his company at the time of his crime.
Other highlights from the interview include:
- An analysis of the Scott London and Bryan Shaw insider trading scheme, including their motivations.
- How insider trading can be compared to espionage.
- Why Snyder thinks people cross the line into insider trading.
Helpful Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Article: “Besides greed, what motivates insider traders? Feelings of betrayal, work stress, enticement are factors,” by Andrew Snyder, Fraud Magazine, March/April 2017
- Book: “Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring,” by Pete Earley
- Podcast: Prison Life | Andrew Snyder
- Websites: AndrewSnyderTherapy.com and Prison Life Solutions
- Paper: “Information Networks: Evidence from Illegal Insider Trading Tips,” by Kenneth Ahern, University of Southern California