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National News
By DAVID K. LI in Los Angeles and KATI CORNELL SMITH in New York
'TONY' ELGINDY: Saw Dow falling Sept. 10

May 25, 2002 -- An accused inside-trader made suspicious stock trades on Sept. 10, leading investigators to believe he might have known about the terror attacks a day later, a federal prosecutor said yesterday.

Notorious short trader Amr Ibrahim Elgindy - also known as "Tony" and "Anthony Pacific" - allegedly ordered his kids' $300,000 trust fund liquidated the day before terrorists slammed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

"He made a comment predicting the market would drop to 3,000," Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Breen told a judge in San Diego. "Perhaps Mr. Elgindy had pre-knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead of trying to report it, he tried to profit from it."

Federal authorities busted Elgindy for allegedly leading a ring of inside-traders - including two FBI agents - who used confidential information to short-trade stocks.

Short sellers borrow what they believed to be overvalued stocks, sell them and then buy them back at lower prices, thus pocketing the difference.

A lawyer for the Egyptian-born financial analyst, a well-known Internet stock commentator, ripped prosecutors for "racially profiling" her client.

She said Elgindy had legitimate reason to believe the stock market would fall, and that the Sept. 10 timing was coincidental.

The Dow Jones was above 10,000 but falling fast a week before terrorists flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"It seems like the government, for lack of factual evidence, has decided to smear my client with terrorist innuendoes," defense lawyer Jeanne Knight said.

U.S. Magistrate John Houston said he didn't consider the prosecution's Sept. 11 allegations when he ordered Elgindy held without bail.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn want Elgindy and four other suspected co-conspirators, who were busted on Wednesday, brought back to New York to stand trial. Two FBI agents used confidential databases to give Elgindy inside information about publicly traded companies, an indictment says.

Elgindy would borrow those stocks and trash those companies on his Web site, driving prices down, prosecutors said.

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