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Two mistrials fail to persuade court to dismiss fraud case

In a case that will likely interest readers in Missouri and elsewhere who have more than a passing interest in trial procedure and our judicial system, a judge has just denied a motion for acquittal despite two juries having deadlocked in a white collar fraud case.

Two executives from a company that makes and supplies integrated computer circuits were recently tried for the second time in a New York federal court on charges that they falsified shipping data and manipulated sales revenues in order to make their company look more profitable than it really was.

The same case brought last year ended in a jury mistrial, with jury members being unable to unanimously agree that the government’s evidence was sufficient to prove that the defendants engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the company and its investors. The second trial concluded with the same result, after two days of jury deliberations.

Defense attorneys point to the two deadlocked juries and say that their inability to convict is ample proof that the government’s evidence is flimsy and that the two men should be acquitted.

“The evidence presented by the government … was insufficient to sustain a conviction,” they said following the second mistrial.

Federal prosecutors continue to push for continuance, and they might now seek a third trial, given the U.S. district judge’s ruling in the wake of the second mistrial to not dismiss the case.

In a statement accompanying his denial of acquittal motions, the judge said that the mistrial outcomes did not signify “that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction.”

Source: Law 360, "Ex-Vitesse execs can't ditch indictments in fraud suit," Brian Mahoney, June 12, 2013

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