|A jury lets Courtney Smith off the hook:|
Commentator Acquitted in Fraud Trial
By BLOOMBERG NEWS
Published: December 3, 2005
Courtney D. Smith, a financial commentator who was accused of failing to disclose payments by the now-defunct GenesisIntermedia to promote the company's stock, was acquitted by a federal jury.
The jury in Los Angeles acquitted Mr. Smith, 53, of all 10 counts on Thursday, Thelen Reid & Priest, the law firm representing him said yesterday. The district court previously dismissed one charge for lack of evidence, the firm said. Mr. Smith owned a money management firm in New York and appeared on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg Television.
Prosecutors failed to persuade the jury that deals Mr. Smith conducted with GenesisIntermedia were sham transactions to hide compensation in exchange for stock promotions on financial TV programs, George Newhouse Jr., Mr. Smith's lawyer, said.
The evidence showed that they were proper business transactions and that Mr. Smith disclosed that he held a big position in GenesisIntermedia after he sold his Web site to the company in exchange for stock, Mr. Newhouse said.
Mr. Smith still faces a civil suit.