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Judge Rebukes Brooklyn Federal Prosecutors
Posted By Andrew Ramonas On April 9, 2010 @ 3:12 pm In News | Comments Disabled
A U.S. District Judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., scolded prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York on Thursday for withholding information from the defense in a case that led to the convictions of six former Wall Street traders and brokers, The Wall Street Journal reported  Friday (subscription required).
U.S. District Judge John Gleeson told the senior prosecutors — including Assistant U.S. Attorney James McMahon — that he was “mystified” by the prosecutors’ failure to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence in the case, which dealt with alleged mishandling of brokerage-firm “squawk” boxes, according to the newspaper. So-called “squawk boxes” are used by brokerage firms to announce when customers place large orders. Prosecutors said the alleged scheme brought in as much as $1 million as the traders secretly listened in on large institutional orders and then traded before those orders could be completed.
Defense lawyers have requested that Gleeson dismiss the grand jury indictment or order a new trial. Under Brady v. Maryland, prosecutors are required to turn over any evidence that could help the defense or risk dismissal of the case.
The judge said he will assess the defense request, according to the newspaper, but Gleeson seemed doubtful about whether the withheld evidence would have changed the result of the trial.
McMahon said his prosecutors improperly “assumed that the first trial team had complied” with Brady. “It’s embarrassing,” he added.
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