Friday, 24 October 2014
Last updated 15 min ago
Jan 10 2014 | 1:58pm ET
Former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Mathew Martoma was expelled from Harvard Law School for falsifying his transcript, it emerged just before his insider-trading trial gets under way in earnest.
Martoma, who at the time went by the name Ajay Mathew Thomas, was kicked out of the prestigious law school after sending forged transcripts to 23 judges with whom he sought a clerkship. Following his expulsion, he legally changed his name to Mathew Martoma.
It is unclear whether the jury, which was finally selected yesterday after an unusually long three-day process, will ever hear of the matter.
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe empanelled the last alternates yesterday afternoon. The jury includes seven women and five men from Manhattan, the Bronx and New York's northern suburbs—among them the CEO of a shoe and accessory company, an underwriter for American International Group, an employment and labor lawyer, a PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant and a bus driver.
Martoma's wife, Rosemary, a pediatrician, served as a kind of jury consultant for her husband's legal team, taking notes on jury pool members Wednesday and yesterday and frequently consulting with Martoma's lawyers.
Opening statements began today.
Martoma's checkered past at Harvard emerged after his legal team lost a battle to keep the information sealed. Martoma was expelled in 1999 after a disciplinary hearing at which he told the school that the forged transcript was a joke for his parents, but during which he sought to cover up his actions with phony e-mails and a forged report from a computer forensics firm—that he created.
Prosecutors have said that Martoma's history is relevant, showing that he has the technical ability to alter computer files. Martoma's lawyers are expected to make much of the fact that prosecutors have not found an e-mail containing a report from a key cooperating witness.
Prosecutors say the Harvard matter is "evidence of the defendant's capacity to destroy or fabricate electronic forensic evidence." Martoma's spokesman, Lou Colasuonno, said it has "no bearing on" the case was merely an effort by the government to "unduly influence the ongoing court proceedings."
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