ATTENTION ALL POTENTIAL VICTIMS
United States v. Scott Yeager
Court Docket Number: 3-093-6
(Appeal-5th Cir. 06-20321) - Re-trial pending
In July 2005, after a 13-week trial, F. Scott Yeager, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development for Enron Broadband Services (EBS), was acquitted on 6 fraud counts in an indictment that charged that in order to inflate the value of Enron’s stock, he deceived the public about the value of EBS’s project to develop a nationwide fiber-optic telecommunications system. The jury hung on the remaining insider trading and money laundering counts, and the government later obtained a narrower, superseding indictment on these counts.
On June 18, 2009, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, held that an apparent inconsistency between a jury’s verdict of acquittal on some counts and its failure to reach a verdict on other counts does not affect the preclusive force of the acquittals under the Double Jeopardy Clause. The Supreme Court ruled that if the possession of insider information was a critical issue of ultimate fact in all of the charges against Yeager, a jury verdict that necessarily decided that issue in his favor protects him from prosecution for any charge for which that is an essential element. The Court left open the door, however, for the Fifth Circuit to re-examine its ruling that the jury must have found, when it acquitted Yeager, that Yeager did not possess any inside information. The government had argued that the jury did not necessarily decide that issue by its verdict.
On October 19, 2009, on remand from the Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit confirmed that the Supreme Court’s holding bars retrial of F. Scott Yeager, a former Enron Broadband Services (EBS) executive, and ordered the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to enter judgments of acquittal on all counts against Yeager.