Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Samueli has petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider reinstating his rejected plea bargain with the federal government.
In a petition filed on Nov. 6, Samueli's attorneys argued that his appeal should be reheard because it "presents an important issue of first impression in this Circuit -- whether a district court's attempt to coerce a defendant to waive his fundamental Fifth Amendment privilege is immediately reviewable."
The plea bargain came in a criminal investigation of stock options backdating at Broadcom. U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Los Angeles rejected the deal as giving the impression that "justice is for sale." Under the plea bargain, Samueli would have paid $12 million to the U.S. Treasury but served no jail time. The deal did not require him to testify against two other former Broadcom executives, co-founder and former chief executive officer Henry Nicholas and former chief financial officer William Ruehle.
On Sept. 24, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit said that it lacked jurisdiction to rule on Samueli's interlocutory appeal of Carney's ruling. In his latest petition, Samueli asked for review either by the original panel or the en banc 9th Circuit.
The petition argued that the three-judge panel failed to address a defendant's right to appeal an order that affects his Fifth Amendment rights.
"Without this Court's immediate review, Dr. Samueli confronts a deadline with serious constitutional implications: waive the Fifth Amendment privilege and testify on behalf of the government at the trials of Dr. Nicholas and Mr. Ruehle, or risk the consequences at sentencing," the petition said.
Samueli is to be sentenced following the trials of Nicholas and Ruehle. Opening statements began in Ruehle's trial on Oct. 23.
Samueli's lawyer, Gordon Greenberg, a partner in the Los Angeles office of McDermott, Will & Emery, did not return a request for comment. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, which is prosecuting the Broadcom case, declined to comment.