The New York Times reports on a jury's acquittal of Rengan Rajaratnam in an insider trading case brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara: "The case also underscored a broader whiff of skepticism about the crackdown on insider trading, as a federal appeals court in Manhattan weighs whether to toss out two other recent convictions."
"They took their time and they had this evidence years ago," said Richard J. Holwell, a lawyer in private practice and the former federal judge who presided over the criminal trial of Mr. Rajaratnam's brother, whom he sentenced to 11 years in prison. "You can say that the government in the final analysis overreached, and that's what the jury is for."
Isabel Tirado, the forewoman for the jury in the trial that began about three weeks ago, said after the verdict that she was not impressed with the government's case. "There was no evidence, period," said Ms. Tirado, a history professor at William Paterson University in New Jersey....The mid-trial ruling by Judge Buchwald echoed the concerns of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which recently signaled that it might overturn the convictions of two other hedge fund traders. The appellate court seemed receptive to a defense argument that a trader cannot be guilty without knowing whether the person providing the inside information has received some benefit for the leak.
If there was "no evidence, period," one wonders why the case was even brought to trial.