Eat the Evidence Week on Sidebar!

When I noticed this headline in yesterday’s New York Times,I blinked several times. I was tired, it was late, maybe I wasn’t see straight…

But no. I mean, yes. I was seeing straight: Traders of Tips Meet at Grand Central, and Eat the Evidence – NYTimes.com.

What are the chances that I’d be telling you twice in one week about people eating evidence? First, there was the ex-cop on the witness stand, chewing away, and now there are, as Ben Protess writes:

Secret stock tips scribbled on Post-it notes and paper napkins. Illicit meetings held in broad daylight at Grand Central Terminal. Cover-up efforts that involved chewing, and even eating, damaging evidence.

These techniques, straight out of some dime store novel about Cold War operatives, were used by a three-man team to orchestrate an insider trading scheme, the authorities say. The three men — a broker at a big bank, a clerk at a prestigious law firm and a friend who served as their intermediary — employed the primitive cloak-and-dagger tactics over about five years to trade on more than a dozen corporate secrets.

Can we digest any lessons from these stories? Maybe. Warning to prospective witnesses or current defendants: if documents have already been entered into evidence, no point in swallowing them. I mean, you can’t exactly chow down on a whole deposition transcript, can you?

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