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Government Witness in Insider Trading Case Hangs Himself in Fifth Avenue Office

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Ephraim Karpel was a commodities trader who wore a wire for the government for one year, beginning in 2008.

Last week in court during Zvi Goffer's insider trading trial, prosecutors played one of the secretly recorded telephone calls between Karpel and another trader discussing stock tips.

Two days later, Dealbook reports, Karpel committed suicide by hanging in his Fifth Avenue office.

The 50-year-old was never charged with any wrongdoing.

According to Dealbook,

While working for a New York commodities firm, [Karpel] had agreed in 2008 to cooperate with federal authorities, and for about a year he taped conversations with fellow traders.

Whether the investigation played a role in Mr. Karpel’s death cannot be known. He had been depressed after losing his job, his wife said, and other factors may have contributed.

His wife added, "the government’s investigation changed his life forever and was his unraveling. He sank deeper and deeper into a hole and couldn’t see a way out."

Apparently Karpel had started to cut himself off from Wall Street friends and contacts because he was terrified of entrapping them.

He had previously worked for fund manager Michael Price, and Schoenfeld Asset Management. At the time of his death, he was a consultant to Tigris Financial Group (Tigris dismissed him as a full-time employee when they learned he was a government witness, Dealbook, said).

FBI agents found told Karpel in 2008 that they had evidence he was insider trading over an alleged Walgreens tip—the deal about which he was speaking with Zvi Goffer on a recorded phone call, never happened.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

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