Inside trader Ivan F. Boesky's credibility took another blistering assault today from a defense lawyer who questioned where all his money went, sought to portray him as a money-grubber and suggested that Boesky might have cheated on his taxes.
The prosecution's star witness, back on the stand for a third day in the securities fraud trial of former friend John A. Mulheren Jr., seemed more comfortable facing the aggressive questioning of defense attorney Thomas P. Puccio after reacting with testy indignation to Wednesday's cross-examination.
The trial is the first time that Boesky, Wall Street's most famous felon, has testified publicly about his own crimes and the alleged offenses of others he has implicated in a web of financial market corruption in the 1980s.
Puccio unsuccessfully sought to make Boesky admit that he was terrified of losing his fortune and had transferred vast amounts of money under his wife's name before he settled insider trading charges with the government.
Boesky, who surrendered $100 million in penalties and fines, faces numerous civil lawsuits and spent two years in a federal prison, has long claimed that his legal ordeal has nearly bankrupted him.
"You're the kind of man who was concerned about how much money you had or didn't have?" Puccio asked.
Boesky replied: "Less than you might think. It has far less far less consequence than you might think."
Puccio also asked U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum for permission to see Boesky's 1987 federal tax return, saying he wanted to determine whether Boesky took an illegal deduction on the $100 million.