On August 2nd, the Second Circuit vacated and remanded defendants' "squawk box" convictions. Defendants allegedly allowed unauthorized persons to hear their employers' non-public securities transaction information which permitted the unauthorized persons to front-run the employers' trades. A jury convicted defendants on conspiracy to commit honest services and property fraud. After sentencing, the SEC disclosed it had investigative transcripts that were not disclosed to defendants. Because those transcripts contained potentially exculpatory information, the Second Circuit held that the transcripts were required to be disclosed. The jury instruction in the instant case did not instruct the jury that it had to find bribery in order to convict under a honest services fraud theory of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Skilling. The Second Circuit therefore vacated and remanded the matter. U.S. v. Mahaffy.
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Because SEC transcripts were withheld, squawk box convictions are vacated
- Winston & Strawn LLP
- August 7 2012
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