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By Turney Duff
As I inched my Honda Civic up Third Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, I checked my phone...
Who am I meeting with again? Oh yeah, Michael . He had sent me an e-mail mentioning writing a book, my sobriety, and that he’d worked on Wall Street for years. He asked if we could meet and I agreed. I parked my car and walked to our meeting spot, a coffee shop a few blocks over. As soon as I entered he spotted me and we shook hands. Michael Kimelman looked successful: clean haircut, well-dressed, and well-mannered. We found a table near the front, and immediately started playing the “Wall Street name game,” connecting on several peers. If this were a gameshow, we’d have advanced to the next round. We knew a lot of the same people, and although we’d never actually met, we joked about being at the same party and pushing each other out of the way for a drink. And then... “I just served 21 months,” he said. “Fifteen inside and six at a halfway house... I was charged with conspiracy and insider trading.” Then he went into the particulars... He had gotten into bed with the wrong people, it
was guilt by association, and the charges were based on innuendos. He explained the mistakes his lawyers made, dirty tricks by the prosecuting attorney, and how unfair the judge was. And then it happened... I kept waiting for him to say it. I knew it was coming... “But I didn’t do it. I’m innocent.” As I took the last few gulps of my coffee and wiped the table clean with a napkin, I had a single thought: GUILTY. I hadn’t seen one bit of evidence, talked with a single witness or heard closing arguments, but I thought I knew enough to make the verdict. I hadn't seen one bit of evidence, talked with a single witness or heard closing arguments, but I thought I knew enough to make the verdict. "
American Consequences | 33
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