Former FrontPointer's Wife Pleads For Leniency

Nov 15 2011 | 10:28am ET

The wife of disgraced for FrontPoint Partners healthcare chief Joseph Skowron sought leniency for her husband, telling the judge in the case that he had no idea his actions could send him to prison.

Skowron pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges in August, agreeing to a five-year term in prison. But his wife, Cheryl, is hoping he can avoid even that, telling a judge that, "aside from this one-time mistake, Chip's character is rock-solid."

"He says he had no idea prison was a possibility, otherwise he never would've done it," Cheryl Skowron wrote in one of 37 letters seeking leniency received by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. "I believe him and yet here we are."

Skowron admitted to trading on confidential information about a hepatitis C drug trial received from an adviser to Human Genome Sciences. Skowron's trades helped FrontPoint avoid more than $30 million in losses, but their revelation has all-but-brought down the one-time hedge fund giant.

Prosecutors rejected Skowron's wife's claims.

"Skowron outwardly appeared to be a 'good person' dedicated to serving others," assistant U.S. Attorney Pablo Quinones wrote. "Skowron's outward appearance stands in contrast to the corrupt character that conspired to commit securities fraud and to obstruct justice to conceal his fraud."

Skowron will be sentenced on Nov. 18.

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