NEW YORK: New York Attorney General Andy Cuomo today asked a Grand Jury to indict 27 of Santa's elves for insider trading violations, it was learned today.

"Those elves are not playing straight with the market, buying lot of stock in Chinese toy manufacturing companies," said a spokesman for the NY Attorney General.

The insider trading charges stem from reports that Santa had made a deal with Chinese toy companies to produce the millions of toys needed for Christmas that his facilities at the North Pole could not produce.

"Santa has a shortage of elves, and his toy factory actually sank to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean due to the effects of global warming," said an analyst formerly with Bear Stearns. "So he needed an immediate new supply of toys."

Santa apparently outsourced this season's toy making to over 100 Chinese companies hard hit by the global economic collapse. A group of his elves, seeing an opportunity to get rich and retire to Florida, bought stock in those Chinese companies.

"What we don't yet fully understand," said the source on Cuomo's office, "is where the elves got the capitol to investment in the Chinese companies."

It was widely understood that Santa paid his elves with cookies and milk, so the ability of the elves to raise a reported $700 million for their stock purchases caught many by surprise.

Investigators are probing whether the elves had some prior illegal scheme going to accumulate that much money.

Santa refused comment on the record about the possibility his workshop workers would be subject to indictment. But off the record, there were strong indications Santa himself may be the architect of the scheme.

"I have billions of children to satisfy in just a matter of weeks, and we're way behind in inventory due to my workshop sinking," said Santa.

"It is the job of my elfish staff to produce, and I frankly don't care how they get the job done," added Santa.

Why fulfillment of the toy demand was outsourced to China is another mystery.

Sources close to Santa indicated that Santa would have preferred the toys were made in the countries where they would be given to children, but there was a shortage of toy making capacity inside the United States.

"It wasn't our decision that production of toys for US children had already been moved to China," said a North Pole source, "and we were really saddened by all those television reports of out-of-work Chinese crying in front of boxes of toys they couldn't sell."

Another problematic issue for the NY Attorney General focused on what the elves would do with all the money they would probably make on their investments.

"There aren't a lot of places around the North Pole to spend all that money," said a source inside Cuomo's office.

One theory has it that the elves plan to use their capital gains to finance construction of a giant raft to rebuild Santa's workshop on so they could remain at the North Pole even though the area was ice-free.

"If they needed help constructing a floating island for the workshop, we obviously could have bailed them out," said Henry Paulson, Secretary of the US Treasury. "All they had to do was ask."