NEW YORK - The specter of a divided jury loomed late Thursday afternoon in the third day of deliberations in the municipal bond bid-rigging trial in New York.
Jurors deciding the fates of Steven Goldberg, Peter Grimm and Dominick Carollo, all former executives of General Electric Co. affiliates, sent a note to Judge Harold Baer in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan at 3:20 p.m. asking how they should mark a jury questionnaire box if they cannot reach a unanimous decision on “a particular count for a specific defendant.”
Baer told the 12 jurors to keep on talking.
“You just haven’t deliberated long enough for me to tell you,” said Baer in his 23rd-floor courtroom in the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse. “Continue deliberating and we’ll talk some more.”
Baer added: “You have lots and lots and lots of paper to go through. Keep up the good work.”
The U.S. Justice Department charges Goldberg, Grimm and Carollo with conspiracy and wire fraud and conspiracy, saying they manipulated auctions for municipal bond contracts and defrauded issuers and the Internal Revenue Service of millions of dollars. Goldberg faces four counts, Grimm three and Carollo two.
One juror faces a scheduling conflict, should deliberations continue until Monday. He is scheduled to appear in a different court regarding his own divorce case. Defense attorneys John Siffert and Howard Heiss, representing Goldberg and Grimm, respectively, worried that the juror in question — and his peers — might rush their decisions on Friday.
“The juror should not feel rushed by the burden of that event,” Siffert told Baer.
At day’s end, the jury requested transcripts of testimony given by Stewart Wolmark, Evan Zarefsky and Douglas Goldberg — no relation to Steven Goldberg. Those three are former brokers from CDR Financial Products Inc. who testified for the government regarding an alleged system of kickbacks through back-end swap agreements.