BofA Mortgage Fraud Case Weighs On Martoma Trial

Sep 23 2013 | 11:42am ET

The U.S. government's mortgage-fraud lawsuit against Bank of America's Countrywide unit could see the trial of former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Mathew Martoma delayed until next year.

Martoma's trial on insider-trading charges is set for November. But both his lawyer, Richard Strassberg, and the lawyer for Martoma's alleged tipster, Marc Mukasery, are representing BofA in the trial beginning this week and expected to last as much as six weeks.

Last month, Strassberg said the BofA trial could interfere with his preparations for the Martoma trial, and sought a delay of up to three months. Prosecutors are pushing for a shorter postponement.

Unlike in the BofA trial, Strassberg and Mukasey are on opposite sides of the Martoma case. Mukasey's client, former University of Michigan medical professor Sidney Gilman, is expected to be the prosecution's star witness against Martoma, who is accused of trading on confidential information about two pharmaceutical companies while at SAC. Gilman has pleaded guilty to tipping Martoma about drug trials and is cooperating with the authorities.

"Marc is a terrific attorney so it's not surprising that he's in some of the most high-profile cases, but he's going to do what he needs to do and so will I," Strassberg told The Wall Street Journal.

"Rich and I have been friends for years, ever since we tried a case together at the U.S. Attorney's office," Mukasey said. "I know he'll fight hard for his client in both cases, and I'll fight hard for mine."

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe has yet to rule on the delay request.

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