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August 4, 2012

New York Times: S.E.C. Gets Encouragement From Jury That Ruled Against It

“As Beau Brendler sat in the jury box listening to the government’s case against a former Citigroup midlevel executive, the same question kept entering his mind.”

“’I wanted to know why the bank’s C.E.O. wasn’t on trial,’ said Mr. Brendler, who served as the jury’s foreman. ‘Citigroup’s behavior was appalling.’”


“’We were afraid that we would send a message to Wall Street that a jury made up of regular American folks could not understand their complicated transactions and so they could get away with their outrageous conduct,’ Mr. Brendler said. ‘We also did not want to discourage the government from investigating and prosecuting financial crimes.’”

So the jurors did something extremely rare: They issued a statement alongside their verdict.

“’This verdict should not deter the S.E.C. from continuing to investigate the financial industry, review current regulations and modify existing regulations as necessary,’” said the statement, which was read aloud by Judge Jed S. Rakoff in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday.


“’Where I’m from, you hear Wall Street is an evil place but you really have nothing to base that on,’ Mr. Dawson said. ‘But after sitting on the jury I thought, ‘Wow, greedy, reckless behavior really does happen there.’”

Read the full story here.

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