Report: Vilar jury reaches partial verdict
NEW YORK ” The jury in the trial of Vail Valley, Colorado philanthropist Alberto Vilar and his business partner, Gary Tanaka, has reached a verdict against one of the men, Bloomberg.com reported Tuesday.
The jury said it has reached agreement on all 12 counts facing one of the men, but didn’t say which one, Bloomberg.com said. The jury also said they’ve reached a decision on five counts facing the other man, but remain undecided on the other counts, the news agency reported.
Raised voices could be heard from the room where the jury is deliberating, and jurors have sent dozens of notes asking for documents and testimony, Bloomberg.com said.
The news came on the third day of deliberations for the jury in the trial, which is being held in U.S. District Court in New York.
Vilar, a longtime Beaver Creek homeowner, poured $10 million into helping the Vail Valley, including the construction of the Beaver Creek arts center that bears his name and the renovation of the Ford Amphitheater.
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Vilar and Tanaka, co-founders of Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., face charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, investment-adviser fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and lying to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Both have pleaded not guilty. They each face more than 10 years in prison if convicted.
They are charged with improperly investing millions of dollars of their clients’ money in risky stocks after telling them it was going into ultra-safe investments such as government bonds.
When the Internet bubble burst, their company, Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., found itself “drowning in a sea of debt,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Naftalis said last week.
“So they decided to steal money from their clients instead,” he said.
The mother of actress Phoebe Cates claims to be a victim.
Judge Richard Sullivan directed jurors to continue trying to come to an agreement, Bloomberg.com said.