The jury deliberating the fate of former Bank of America broker Theodore C. Sihpol reached agreement on 20 of the 33 counts against Sihpol late Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
In discussions through just before 5 p.m., the jury's fourth day of deliberations in what has been a six-week trial, the panel is said to have been instructed by New York Supreme Court Justice James A. Yates to take a break and resume their work today.
There are no indications yet as to whether the jury's verdict is leaning toward innocence or guilt. One count alone, for first-degree grand larceny of stealing more than $1 million in property, would put Sihpol, 37, in prision for up to 25 years.
The government, led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, has charged Sihpol and hedge fund Canary Capital Partners with stealing tens of millions of dollars via illegal late trades and improper market timing in six leading fund families, including the two of Bank of America's own fund families.
As the Associated Press aptly puts Sihpol's defense team's core argument: "Defense lawyers say no law barred late trading of mutual funds. They argue that Mr. Sihpol's actions -- open, well-known and consistent with bank practices -- show there was no criminal intent on his part."
The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.