On Friday, February 27, U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum threw out the most serious charge against Martha Stewart. According to Judge Cedarbaum, prosecutors had failed to present sufficient evidence to allow the jury to decide the matter.
Two days ago, on the third day of deliberations, jurors had their say on the remaining charges.
The eight women and four men found Stewart guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings in her trial over a suspicious sale of stock in ImClone Systems Inc., according to Reuters. Stewart will be sentenced on June 17; each count carries a possible prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine.
Stewart’s co-defendant and stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, was found guilty of four of the five counts against him, added the wire service.
In a statement, Stewart announced that “I am obviously distressed by the jury’s verdict but I continue to take comfort in knowing that I have done nothing wrong,” according to Reuters. “I will appeal the verdict and continue to fight to clear my name. I believe in the fairness of the judicial system and remain confident that I will ultimately prevail.”
Trading was halted by the New York Stock Exchange in shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) on Friday, pending the verdict. Before the halt, the stock last traded at $16.34 — up more than 16 percent, or $2.31 a share — as word spread that a verdict was imminent. After the verdict was announced, the share price fell to $10.86, down $3.17 from Thursday’s close. According to the Associated Press, MSO had been trading at about $19 before Stewart herself became involved in the scandal.