FBI agents arrested Vincent McCrudden, 49, of Long Beach, N.Y., Thursday at Newark Liberty International Airport as he returned from Singapore. Federal prosecutors believe McCrudden had been there for the past several months.
He is accused of threatening 47 employees of the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission and other agencies. Many of the messages included profanity laced tirades against the regulators, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip.
McCrudden was ordered held without bail at an initial court appearance Friday. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 27.
His attorney did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.
Prosecutors said that in addition to death threats posted on his website, McCrudden posted a $100,000 reward seeking personal information about several government officials.
"In this day and age, there is no such thing as an idle threat," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "Those who threaten injury or worse to the lives of others will be promptly investigated and vigorously prosecuted."
The threats against the regulators followed a a CFTC civil enforcement lawsuit filed against McCrudden in December, prosecutors said. The complaint alleged McCrudden has been the subject of various enforcement or disciplinary proceedings over several years.
But even before the CFTC action, he allegedly sent an email to an employee of the National Futures Association, stating: "It wasn't ever a question of if I was going to kill you, it was just a question of when. And now, that question has been answered. You are going to die a painful death."
His website also allegedly included an "execution list" with the names of 47 current and former federal regulators, prosecutors said, including the chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission.