Posted May 11, 2007 02:14 pm CDT
A Brooklyn jury has acquitted seven people of securities fraud in a case that alleged stock brokers at three firms allowed day traders to listen to confidential trading information broadcast on an interoffice intercom.
The acquittal is a blow to the government, which has stepped up insider trading prosecutions, according to the New York Times.
Jurors deadlocked on a charge of conspiracy to commit such fraud, resulting in a mistrial on that count, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. One of the defendants, a former stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, was convicted of witness tampering and making false statements to postal inspectors.
Defense lawyers had argued the information relayed was not confidential, and customers were not harmed.