A jury in Brooklyn convicted ex-Merrill Lynch & Co. broker Timothy O'Connell of witness tampering and false statements on Thursday but acquitted him and six others of securities fraud and other charges as part of a partial verdict in the so-called "squawk box" case.
The panel remained deadlocked on a single count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud against Mr. O'Connell, two other ex-securities brokers, and four former A.B. Watley Inc. executives in connection with an alleged scheme to misuse brokerage firm "squawk" boxes to jump ahead of large block trades. U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser indicated he would instruct the jurors to try to reach a decision on the outstanding conspiracy count.
Prosecutors have alleged that three brokers at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers Inc., and Citigroup Inc.'s Smith Barney unit placed open telephone lines next to the internal speaker systems at their firms all day long so that day traders at A.B. Watley could eavesdrop on block orders by institutional clients.