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United States v. Reyes
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Argument: Evidence alone that defendant signed options grants to other people – and not to himself – that were improperly dated is insufficient to establish the requisite mens rea to have “willfully” violated the criminal securities fraud laws. The only government witness to the alleged deception was a low level finance department employee who testified that she did not know that the options grants had been backdated and who recanted her testimony after trial. The brief also argues also that the facts of this case fail to establish even the “materiality to investors” requirement for a finding of civil liability; the evidence being insufficient as a matter of law, the conviction should be vacated and remanded with directions to enter a verdict of acquittal.