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Wall Street Bad Boy May Face Cameras, Not Prison

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"Bad boy" Wall Streeter Ross Mandell remains under arrest and free on $5 million bail for allegedly defrauding investors out of millions in a sophisticated international stock scheme. But a historic Supreme Court decision just might make the legal battle for his life completely disappear.

Since last reporting on Mandell, much has occurred. He has been busy pitching a reality TV show about his life while awaiting trial. He has appeared seven times on Fox Business News as a regular panelist on Follow the Money. And his controversial commentary and vehement performances there helped land him a segment on (former pro wrestler and Governor) Jesse Ventura's top-rated Conspiracy Theory, airing this Friday night on Tru-TV.

The single most significant development for Mandell, however, came on June 24th, and had nothing whatsoever to do with his budding television profile. That was when the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that section 10 (b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 applies only to domestic securities transactions, ruling that cases involving prohibited conduct on foreign purchases or sales of securities may not be litigated in United States courts.

What does that historic decision have to do with Mandell? The charges against him, for which he's facing 25 years in jail, are based on alleged fraud in connection with stocks that are listed on a foreign stock exchange. Consequently, Mandell's attorney, Jeffrey Hoffman, has filed a motion to dismiss the vast majority of the case against him.

The word "unbelievable" is overused these days, but let us take a moment to review this incredible turn of events. One is that this Supreme Court, arguably the most ideologically divided in history, agreed on this particular decision unanimously. Two, in so doing, they have abandoned a law that had been on the books for 75 years. And three, they did it just as the United States government had been predicating, preparing and finalizing their case against Mandell on this very law.

The Court's decision isn't scheduled to come until next March, but whatever the outcome, Mandell's TV aspiration has not been dashed. In fact, he'll be appearing on national cable television this Friday night in what is reportedly a riveting exposé of corruption at the highest levels of the financial industry. And it's Mandell who will be doing the exposing. Michael Braverman, the Executive Producer of Conspiracy Theory, credits the network for having the courage to run what he calls "TV's loudest, most explicit condemnation yet of the conspiracy between Wall Street and the Federal government," adding that Mandell "tears up the show."

Whatever one chooses to believe about Mandell's innocence or guilt, this much is known: he has remained sober for 20 years, he fought conventional legal wisdom by going very public rather than keeping his head down, and he has moved from "curled up in a fetal position, crying like a baby" to a guy on the verge of a TV career.

Ross Mandell has said that he found God. It looks as if God has found him.