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Lawyer: Sarbanes-Oxley Misused Against Me

Posted May 7, 2007 11:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Greenwich, Conn., lawyer charged with destroying evidence under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act says he has a clear conscience.

Prosecutors claim Philip Russell destroyed a computer containing child pornography, owned by the music director for a church he represented, the Greenwich Time reports. He has pleaded not guilty to destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed as part of a crackdown on corporate wrongdoing, bars the destruction of evidence “in contemplation” of a federal investigation. Russell argues the law applies to business records and was not intended to apply to contraband, such as illegal drugs, weapons and pornography.

“The law does not require a gym coach to keep a beer can he finds on a school bus," Russell told the newspaper. "I have a clear conscience, the support of my family, and the legal community, which has genuinely rallied to my support."


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