Dr. Joe McGrath


This Article draws on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) complaint against Serageldin, the transcript for his plea hearing, and the transcript for his sentencing hearing. The SEC’s complaint provides a prosecutorial account of the fraud. It also includes actual extracts from Serageldin’s recorded phone calls at Credit Suisse which provide a realtime narrative of the fraud. The court transcripts detail Serageldin’s own account of the fraud and give a biographical account of Serageldin’s life, provided by his mother, who offered character evidence on his behalf. These perspectives allowed for the recasting of the SEC’s account of the fraud and reframed it in light of Serageldin’s personal circumstances, casting the banker as the fallen hero of his own narrative. The significance of these narratives is less in their content and more in the way they are told; they may have allowed Serageldin to deceive himself about the extent of his involvement in the fraud and his motivations for committing it. The narratives locate his individual decision within a corporate culture where wrongdoing was seemingly routine and within the structural context of a crashing securities market. Therefore, these contemporaneous and post-hoc accounts of the fraud are valuable because they facilitate the problematization of the causal explanations of this crime along individual, organizational, and structural lines of analysis.