Thursday, 11 February 2016
Last updated 4 min ago
Jan 27 2014 | 1:12pm ET
Mathew Martoma's insider-trading trial isn't over, but the former SAC Capital Advisors trader's fate may already be sealed.
The government's star witness, former neurology professor Sidney Gilman, completed his testimony against the former hedge fund manager on Friday. Martoma's lawyers suggested in their opening statements that the entire case against Martoma would hinge on whether jurors believed Gilman, who will not be prosecuted due to his cooperation, or not.
To that end, Martoma lawyer Richard Strassberg hammered away at Gilman's credibility. Prosecutors allege that Gilman, who oversaw an Alzheimer's drug trial, was Martoma's key source for confidential information about that test. Strassberg countered that Gilman was simply saying what prosecutors wanted him to in an effort to avoid prison.
Gilman denied that allegation Friday, telling the jury that "nobody was forcing me to do anything." He insisted that his memory simply improved over time—including about what prosecutors have called a crucial meeting between he and Martoma in July 2008, which Gilman had told prosecutors in 2011 and 2012 that he had no memory of.
Gilman said he recalled the meeting by the beginning of last year, and that details about it have since come back to him. "It was an evolutionary process," he said.
Strassberg suggested Gilman only recognized the meeting's importance after prosecutors continued to ask about it.
Martoma's trial is entering its fourth week. Prosecutors said after Gilman left the stand that they could rest their case as soon as tomorrow.