NEW YORK (AP) — The government's insider trading case against a San Francisco hedge fund founder went to the jury Friday after a prosecutor portrayed him as a greedy financial criminal and a defense lawyer said he steered clear of Wall Street secrets and traded only on the basis of legitimate research.
The jury deliberating the fate of Doug Whitman began its work in midafternoon and later went home without reaching a verdict. It resumes deliberations Monday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jillian Berman urged jurors to convict Whitman, saying his greed led him to cheat for advantages in the stock market. She told them not to believe "the story he spun on the witness stand."
Defense lawyer David Anderson urged acquittal, saying his client honestly believed his actions were proper and not part of any crime.
"This case is reasonable doubt because Mr. Whitman is not guilty," he said.
He noted that Whitman acknowledged several instances when others tried to tell him inside information and he refused to make any trades based on what he was told. He also said Whitman never made payments to any insider and advised others not to do so.
"The evidence shows Mr. Whitman is innocent," he said. "These facts are totally inconsistent with a criminal state of mind."
In testimony earlier this week, Whitman said he believed it was fair for employees to give traders general information about how business was going, as long as they didn't give up exact numbers about revenue, profits and guidance before they are released publicly. He called it "color."
He said he did not know if color could sometimes amount to inside information but he did not believe so.
A prosecutor asked him if he considered it color if a company's employee told him the company would report good numbers and good guidance.
"Yes, that's not having the number," Whitman said.
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