Former Bank of America Corp. broker Thomas Sihpol was acquitted today by a New York State Supreme Court jury on charges he helped a hedge fund illegally trade mutual funds after the close of trading, confirmed Brad Maione, a spokesman for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who brought the charges.
The jury found Mr. Sihpol not guilty on 29 of 33 charges, which included securities fraud, grand larceny and falsifying records, and was deadlocked on four. Supreme Court Justice James Yates declared a mistrial on those four counts, two of fraud and two of falsifying records, and set a hearing on them for June 23, at which time Mr. Spitzer will determine whether to retry Mr. Sihpol on those charges.
"Two years ago, our office began an investigation that exposed widespread illegal trading practices and other corruption that skimmed billions of dollars from mutual fund investors," a statement from Mr. Spitzer said. "Settlements negotiated by this office with a dozen firms have brought sweeping reform of the industry and returned more than $3.1 billion to investors."
He said the Siphol case was one of eight cases in which criminal charges were brought; six other individuals have pleaded guilty to fraud and related charges, and one case is pending.