Risk Management

New Trial Date Set for Ex-Symbol CFO

Jaeggi faces the jury alone this time, now that his two former co-defendants have been let off the hook.
Stephen TaubNovember 12, 2007

A federal judge has set May 5 as the date for retrial of former Symbol Technologies CFO Kenneth Jaeggi for his alleged role in the company’s massive accounting scandal earlier in the decade.

Jaeggi, senior vice president of finance Michael DeGennaro, and senior vice president and general manager Frank Borghese went on trial in early 2006. A mistrial was declared after a six-week trial and four days of jury deliberations resulted in a deadlocked jury.”

The mistrial was highly controversial. According to reports at the time, Jaeggi’s attorney, Steven Molo, filed a motion urging the judge to declare the mistrial. However, attorneys for DeGennaro and Borghese wanted first to poll the jury to determine whether they had reached a verdict on any of the three defendants.

CFO.com reported at the time that after speaking with 7 of the 12 jurors outside the courtroom, DeGennaro’s attorney, Michael Sommer, and Borghese’s attorney, Brad Simon, moved that the jurors return to court so they could be asked whether they had acquitted two of the defendants. That would be the only way to prevent an “unimaginable injustice,” Sommer reportedly claimed in court papers, because jurors in effect had found DeGennaro and Borghese not guilty on all counts and had acquitted Jaeggi of all charges except conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Borghese and DeGennaro both moved to bar retrial under the double-jeopardy clause. The motions were denied in August 2006 by Judge Leonard Wexler, who said he had “properly declared a mistrial following the jury’s unambiguous note that it was genuinely deadlocked.”

But a year later, a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said retrying DeGennaro and Borghese would in fact amount to double jeopardy and thus be unconstitutional.

Symbol, a maker of bar-code scanners, was acquired by Motorola Inc. for $3.9 billion earlier this year.