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Nomura bond trader fraud trial ends in split U.S. jury verdict
June 15, 2017 / 6:52 PM / 3 months ago

Nomura bond trader fraud trial ends in split U.S. jury verdict

June 15 (Reuters) - A federal jury on Thursday delivered a mixed verdict for three former Nomura Holdings Inc traders accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of lying to customers about the prices of mortgage bonds they bought and sold.

Jurors in Hartford, Connecticut found Michael Gramins guilty on a conspiracy charge, but found him not guilty on six other counts and could not reach a verdict on the remaining two.

Another defendant, Tyler Peters, was found not guilty on all nine counts he faced. Ross Shapiro, the third defendant, was found not guilty on eight counts, and jurors could not agree on a ninth, also for conspiracy.

The trial began on May 8, and jurors began deliberating on June 6.

Gramins’ conviction is the second in a federal crackdown into deceptive bond trading practices that was unveiled in January 2013, and has been overseen mainly by the office of U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly in Connecticut.

It followed the January conviction in a retrial involving similar claims against former Jefferies Group trader Jesse Litvak. He was later sentenced to serve two years in prison and pay a $2 million fine. Litvak is appealing.

Thursday’s verdict was confirmed by Daly’s office and lawyers involved in the case. It is unclear whether prosecutors will retry Gramins and Shapiro on the deadlocked counts.

A spokesman for Daly had no immediate comment.

Marc Mukasey, a lawyer for Gramins, in an email said he intends to file motions related to his client’s conspiracy conviction. A lawyer for Shapiro had no immediate comment. Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Peters, declined to comment.

U.S. authorities have charged at least 10 people, including six from Nomura, in connection with the bond trading probe.

Three of the eight traders facing criminal charges decided to plead guilty and cooperate: former Nomura trader Frank DiNucci, and former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc traders Matthew Katke and Adam Siegel.

David Demos, formerly of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co, was also criminally charged, and has pleaded not guilty.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission separately brought civil charges against former Nomura traders Kee Chan and James Im. Chan settled with the SEC, but Im did not.

The case is U.S. v. Shapiro et al, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, No. 15-cr-00155. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Diane Craft)

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