NEW YORK, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Second Circuit today issued an opinion dismissing all charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Frederick J. O'Meally, a former Prudential Securities broker relating to the market-timing of mutual funds. The opinion caps an 11 year question quest by Mr. O'Meally to establish his innocence.
Mr. O'Meally, who was a top producing broker for Prudential Securities from 1994 until 2003, worked primarily with hedge fund clients, investing millions of dollars in mutual funds using "market timing" strategies.
The SEC investigation of Mr. O'Meally began in 2003. In 2006, Mr. O'Meally was charged by the SEC in 2006 with fraud and negligence allegations. Three co-defendants and Prudential Securities all settled charges brought by the SEC. Mr. O'Meally refused to settle, and argued that his business practices were both fully appropriate and approved by Prudential Securities management and its in-house counsel.
In December 2011, following a five week long jury trial in New York City before the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain in the United States District Court For The Southern District of New York, Mr. O'Meally was exonerated of all fraud charges, but was found liable for negligence.
Today, the Second Circuit reversed the negligence findings and ordered the case against Mr. O'Meally dismissed, writing:
The SEC asks us to affirm that O'Meally negligently performed an intentional act that is otherwise legal. The evidence, however, establishes without contradiction that the [mutual] funds were inconsistent in their proscriptions on market timing and that Prudential supported O'Meally's practices – and that jury could not find negligence in those circumstances. . .
Mr. O'Meally states, "At trial, I told the judge and the jury that I had to fight this case, and would not settle, because it was important to let my children know that you have to fight and not give up when you are right. Today, I was standing at my daughter's graduation ceremony from college, when I got the news that we had won. There are no words to describe how I feel."
Mr. O'Meally was represented by in the appeal by Andrew J. Frisch, of the Law Offices of Andrew J. Frisch, and by Jonathan Harris, of Harris, O'Brien, St. Laurent and Chaudhry LLP. Mr. Harris has represented Mr. O'Meally for 11 years, since the SEC first started investigating, and was trial counsel for Mr. O'Meally, along with Julie Withers of Harris O'Brien, and David Deitch of Ifrah Law PLLC.
Mr. Frisch states: "Fred O'Meally cannot get back the 11 years he spent fighting the government, but he goes forward from today knowing the SEC's case was wrong from the start."
Mr. Harris states: "I met Fred O'Meally 11 years ago, when he walked into a conference room at Curtis Mallet, where I was then practicing, to tell Peter Fleming Jr. and me about market timing. The facts Fred told me that day, are the same facts we told the SEC, they are the same facts that convinced a jury that Fred was innocent of any intentional wrongdoing, and are the same facts that convinced the Second Circuit to dismiss the entire case. Fred has as big a heart and is as tough as anyone you will ever meet. This is a great day for him, and for all of us who have worked on this case."
About Harris, O'Brien, St. Laurent & Chaudhry LLP
Harris, O'Brien, St. Laurent & Chaudhry LLP is a premier boutique litigation firm with an exception record of success. Founded in 2009, the has 15 lawyers win New York and New Jersey, and has won numerous victories in criminal, regulatory and civil cases, including over $100 million in verdicts in the past 5 years. For more information, please visit www.harrisobrien.com
About the Law Offices of Andrew J. Frisch:
Andrew J. Frisch, a former federal prosecutor, has practiced in New York City's federal and state courts for thirty years, arguing over 100 appeals and trying over 25 cases to jury verdict. He is renowned for devotion to his clients and determined advocacy in championing their causes through criminal and regulatory investigations, trials and appeals.
SOURCE Harris, O'Brien, St. Laurent & Chaudhry LLP