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U.S. v. STEWART

United States District Court, Northern District of New York


September 8, 2003

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, -AGAINST- MARTHA STEWART AND PETER BACANOVIC, DEFENDANTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Miriam Cedarbaum, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Defendant Martha Stewart has requested that I direct the United States Attorney's Office to conduct an inquiry to determine whether, before the return of the indictment, any government employee released the information that the grand jury would not charge insider trading. Defendant Peter Bacanovic has joined this request. Both defendants agree that the United States Attorney's Office was not responsible.

At the oral argument of this application, I directed the government to submit in camera excerpts of the minutes of the grand jury showing the instructions given to the grand jury on avoiding radio, television and press reports about Stewart or Bacanovic. The main thrust of defendants' complaint seems to be that they were not advised before the indictment that Stewart would not be charged with criminal insider trading. I have carefully examined the materials submitted by defendants in support of the application, and am not persuaded that it is likely that there was a breach of grand jury secrecy. Moreover, I have ascertained that the grand jury was properly and thoroughly instructed to avoid any information not presented as evidence Page 2 in the grand jury room. In any event, it is difficult to understand how defendants could have been prejudiced even if the grand jury was influenced not to charge insider trading.

Accordingly, defendants' request is denied.

SO ORDERED Page 1

20030908

© 1992-2003 VersusLaw Inc.



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