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Friday, January 30, 2004

Grand Jury Weighing Evidence Against Strong

by: Nicole Halsey

A grand jury has reportedly convened at the request of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to consider evidence against Dick Strong, the New York Times reports.

The jury has been hearing evidence for several weeks about short-term trades made by Mr. Strong in mutual funds managed by his company, sources close to the situation told the Times.

But, Strong's lawyer, Stanley Arkin, denied that his client did anything wrong and said Spitzer has no right to pursue him.

"Our position has been and continues to be that there's no way there was any crime committed," said Arkin. "There is no way he has any jurisdiction over Mr. Strong."

Arkin added that the rapid trading allegedly done by Strong was not illegal either.

"You don't charge people for gray areas where nobody got hurt," he said.

Spitzer is pursuing his case against Strong and other suits involving mutual fund companies nationwide, based on the Martin Act, a New York securities law dating to 1921 that he used in his previous pursuit of conflicts among stock analysts.  

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