Shapiro Arato Files Brief in Appeal of William Walters’ Insider Trading Conviction

On November 13, 2017, Shapiro Arato filed its opening brief in the criminal appeal of William Walters, who was convicted of insider trading in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  We argue that the indictment should have been dismissed in light of the government’s pervasive violation of grand jury secrecy.  Specifically, at least one high-ranking FBI agent (and potentially others within the government) leaked grand jury secrets to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times over a two-year period in an attempt to revive what the agent described as a “dormant” investigation.  Grand jury secrecy was similarly compromised in various other high profile insider trading prosecutions.  Our brief argues that prosecutorial misconduct of this sort requires dismissal of the indictment under Bank of Nova Scotia v. United States, 487 U.S. 250 (1988).  Our brief argues that Mr. Walters is at least entitled to a new trial because the government’s star witness, who allegedly provided Mr. Walters with inside information, lied to the jury about how these tips supposedly occurred.  We also argue that Mr. Walters is entitled to acquittal on certain of the indictment’s counts because there is no evidence that the tipper breached any duty to the source of his information or that Mr. Walters knew of any such breach.  Finally, we argue that the restitution and forfeiture awards were largely unsupported and vastly overstated by the government.

Mr. Walters’ case is United States v. Walters, Second Circuit No. 17-2373.  Alexandra Shapiro, Eric Olney, and Jacob Wolf co-authored the brief, which is available here.