Marc Mukasey Featured in USA Today – Pitino lawyer: Verdict shows client didn’t know of payments

NEW YORK (AP) — The lawyer for former Louisville coach Rick Pitino says the convictions in a federal trial alleging corruption in college basketball supports his client’s assertion he was unaware of a scheme to bribe the family of a Cardinals recruit.

Attorney Marc Mukasey said in a statement Thursday that the government argued that former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code “needed to conceal” the scheme from schools and “no one with any degree of credibility implicated Pitino.”

A federal jury on Wednesday found the three men guilty of fraud in the case. Louisville fired Pitino last October soon after the investigation was announced, but the coach was not mentioned in the federal complaint. Pitino has maintained he was not involved in or aware of a scheme to pay the family of former Cardinal player Brian Bowen Jr.

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Marc Mukasey Featured in the New York Times – Former UBS Trader Is Cleared in ‘Spoofing’ Case

A federal jury on Wednesday acquitted a former trader for the Swiss bank UBS of charges related to market manipulation, dealing a blow to a Justice Department effort to crack down on a Wall Street practice known as “spoofing.”

Prosecutors accused the former trader, Andre Flotron, of trying to move market prices for precious metals by making offers on electronic trading systems to buy or sell gold, silver and other financial products and then quickly deleting those offers before anyone could accept them.

But after only a few hours of deliberation, a jury in United States District Court in the District of Connecticut rejected their theory, according to Mr. Flotron’s lawyer Marc L. Mukasey.

Mr. Flotron’s acquittal could spell trouble for similar cases brought by the United States government. In January, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against seven other people for spoofing, among the first criminal charges brought for suspected financial crimes during the Trump administration. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission simultaneously brought civil cases against a number of the former traders, including Mr. Flotron. The traders’ behavior, a Justice Department official said at the time, reflected “a systemic problem.”

The Connecticut jury decided otherwise.

“It’s a huge setback for the government,” Mr. Mukasey said. “We basically smacked them in the face.”

Mr. Mukasey said he planned to ask the trading commission to dismiss its civil case against Mr. Flotron.

“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s verdict,” a Justice Department spokeswoman said Wednesday.

A UBS spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Marc Mukasey featured in Wall Street Journal – Former UBS Metals Trader Acquitted in ‘Spoofing’ Case

Connecticut jury finds Andre Flotron not guilty in setback for the government.

by Gabriel T. Rubin

A Connecticut federal jury cleared a former UBS Group AG metals trader of scheming to manipulate futures markets through a practice known as “spoofing,” a setback for the government as it works to stem the practice in financial markets.

Andre Flotron was acquitted by the New Haven jury on Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to engage in commodities fraud, after a judge previously threw out six other charges including substantive spoofing and commodities fraud.

The Verdict is the first acquittal in a spoofing case since the practice was made illegal in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank financial law. Prosecutors have targeted the practice aggressively in recent months. In January, Mr. Flotron and seven other traders were charged with deceptive trading practices in the futures markets, with all but one person charged with illegal spoofing.

“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s verdict. The Justice Department remains committed to investigating and prosecuting cases involving deceptive trading practices,” a Justice Department spokesman said. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which fined Mr. Flotron for alleged spoofing in January, declined to comment.

“We’re glad we fought the charges until justice was done. We feel as good as gold,” said Marc Mukasey, Mr. Flotron’s lawyer.

Spoofing involves a trader entering large orders with the intention of tricking others into thinking there has been a fundemental change in supply and demand in a market. In August, federal appeals court upheld the conviction of the first U.S. trader to face prison time for manipulating futures prices using spoofing tactics.

 


 

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