South Carolina v. Sterling

Appellant John Sterling, Jr. was charged with three criminal offenses: securities fraud, making false or misleading statements to the State Securities Commission, and criminal conspiracy. He was convicted of securities fraud, acquitted of making a false or misleading statement and conspiracy, and received a five-year sentence.  Appellant appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing the trial judge abused his discretion in permitting testimony from investors, in denying appellant's directed verdict motion, and that the trial court committed reversible error in charging the jury. Charges against Appellant stemmed from a business venture related to the retail mortgage lending industry. After a merger between two companies, Appellant ceased being an employee of one of the acquired companies, but remained on the Board of Directors of the newly formed entity. The new entity had financial trouble from the onset, and began moving debts and assets among the surviving entities to hide its financial difficulties. Appellant's defense was predicated in large part on the fact that the financial maneuvers that took place were approved by outside auditors. Upon review of the trial court record, the Supreme Court found no error and affirmed Appellant's conviction. View "South Carolina v. Sterling" on Justia Law