Theodore Sihpol III, the former Bank of America broker who faces up to 30 years behind bars for violation of federal securities law, is expected to pull a few punches as his trial begins today. Not least of which is taking a swipe at New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the New York Post reports.
Sihpol's attorney, C. Evan Stewart, is expected to argue that Spitzer had it in for his client and that as a mere order-taker in the BoA-Canary Capital late trading deal, Sihpol is a scapegoat for the prosecution. Stewart will also point out that Edward Stern, who ran Canary and set the trading scandal in motion by providing Spitzer with the names of mutual fund counterparties, got off easy with a $40 million fine on profits of at least $100 million. The defense team will also argue at length about how a number of the senior managers at BoA got off relatively easy because they were fired, while Sihpol was hauled off from his New Canaan, Conn., home in handcuffs.
Stewart has already shared with MME other arguments he plans to make, including that the '40 Act fails to clearly specify that 4 p.m. is the cutoff for setting mutual fund net asset values [see MME 3/22/04, 6/21/04, 3/14/05]. Spitzer's potential ace in the hole, however, is taped telephone conversations that could portray the former BoA broker not as a mere order-taker, but as someone fully aware of the gravity of the his wrongdoing [see "The Canary Tapes," MME 3/14/05].
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.