From AFP:

…Martha Stewart resigned as head of her company, shortly after she was charged with securities fraud in a long-running insider trading scandal. “I love this company, its people, and everything it stands for and I am stepping aside as chairman and CEO because it is the right thing to do,” Stewart said in a statement…The nine charges levelled at Stewart, 61, and her Merrill Lynch broker, Peter Bacanovic, included conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to prosecutors and the FBI. She pleaded not guilty to all charges.

There was no criminal insider trading charge, which analysts had suggested would be difficult to prove…the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges of “illegal insider trading” in connection with her sale in December, 2001 of shares in biotech firm ImClone Systems, Inc…The SEC said it was also seeking a court order barring Stewart from being a director of any publicly traded company.

…The company share price has been cut in half since Stewart was first implicated in the insider trading scandal a year ago…If convicted on all charges, Stewart would “certainly be facing jail time,” [US Attorney James Comey] said….Stewart has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying her trade was based on an agreement with her broker to sell the ImClone shares once they fell below a certain level.

Related: Martha and the Tall Poppies

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