Things are looking up for the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s first stock options prosecution. Now that they have a prosecutor on the case, that is.
The situation had been a bit touchy for a few weeks in the case against two former Brocade Communications executives, ever since Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Steskal — who investigated and indicted the case and was preparing it for trial — decided he was leaving for Fenwick & West. Judge Charles Breyer had already shown skepticism of the government’s arguments: he recently criticized U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan’s office during a hearing in the SEC’s civil suit against the former executives because, with Steskal on a tropical vacation, the office didn’t send another prosecutor to his courtroom to answer discovery questions in what the judge called a “watershed” case.
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