The Bear Stearns saga lives on by James Bandler @FortuneMagazine August 12, 2011, 9:57 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons The story doesn’t end for two former hedge fund managers who beat a fraud rap and are looking for a fresh start. Three years ago in June when the feds charged a pair of Bear Stearns hedge fund managers with conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud for their roles in the collapse of the funds, they were expected to be at the front of the cavalcade of fat cats who would pay the price for Wall Street’s sins. But Ralph Cioffi (left) and Matthew Tannin were acquitted in 2009 and turned out to be the first and the last Wall Street execs to be charged for their roles in the credit markets’ collapse. The duo’s problems aren’t over. The SEC is pressing a civil suit. The government must really believe it can win, says Marc Mukasey, a former federal prosecutor. “Trying a case a second time is about as much fun as putting on a wet bathing suit or kissing your sister.” Tannin declined to talk to Fortune. Cioffi, who now manages his own money in Florida, says he has received support from former Bear Stearns colleagues. After his acquittal he had lunch with the now defunct firm’s former chairman Alan “Ace” Greenberg. His advice? “Just put it behind you and move forward.” –This article is from the August 15, 2011 issue of Fortune.