Federal prosecutors in Washington have accused former Nixon Peabody associate Melissa Mahler, who was hit with civil insider trading charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, of making false statements to SEC investigators.

As The National Law Journal previously reported here, on July 28, 2004, Mahler, then a lawyer for Nixon Peabody in Rochester, N.Y., was asked by client Roger Tichenor, the chief executive officer of Teleplus Consumer Services Inc., to draft a letter of intent involving a potential merger with Rooms.com, an online travel company. Less than an hour later, Mahler was allegedly on the phone with her Florida-based broker, instructing him to buy 10,000 shares of Teleplus for $1,200. Teleplus was trading at 12 cents a share.

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