Martoma Seeks Acquittal Or New Trial

Mar 3 2014 | 11:54am ET

Former SAC Capital Advisors trader Mathew Martoma has asked the judge in his case to throw out his insider-trading conviction, a long-shot bid prior to his sentencing in June.

Martoma's lawyers argued that his Feb. 6 conviction on securities fraud and conspiracy charges was tainted by jury bias and improper evidence, and that, in any event, prosecutors failed to prove their case. The letter sought a "judgment of acquittal on all counts," or, barring that, a new trial.

Martoma was found guilty of trading on confidential information about Alzheimer's drug trials, earning or saving SAC $276 million in 2008. If U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe rejects last week's motion, as is likely, Martoma will be sentenced on June 10, and would then be able to appeal his conviction.

His lawyers offered a peek into their strategy for appeal, arguing that Martoma had independent reasons for his trades in Elan Corp. and Wyeth LLC shares and that the tips he received were either public or immaterial. They also argued that the government's star witness, former University of Michigan medical professor Sidney Gilman was unreliable, and that the jury pool was biased by a report of Martoma's expulsion from Harvard Law School immediately prior to the trial.

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