SECURITIES, JURY – An attorney, convicted of attempted obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation into his client’s sale of corporate stock, was also convicted of obstructing an SEC proceeding related to a company formed from another company that he had represented.
The 11th Circuit holds that the government introduced distinct, admissible evidence sufficient to sustain defendant’s convictions and rejects his claim that he would have substantially altered his trial strategy if the second and third counts were severed from the first. Thus the convictions were not tainted by prejudicial spillover. Also, the jury was ultimately given the proper standard by which to weigh the evidence regarding the affirmative defense and any error in the instruction was harmless and did not improperly guide the jury in a substantial way. USA v. Mintmire