In his second trial, Reyes’ attorneys made what legal experts said was a potentially risky decision: They opted not to call any witnesses in his defense, arguing instead that the government had failed to prove its case.Attorneys on both sides declined to discuss the verdict Friday, although defense lawyer Stephen Neal said he will likely file another appeal.At left is Reyes’ lead defense attorney Stephen Neal. Avila Lopez/Mercury News) SAN FRANCISCO — Saying he hoped to send a message to other corporate executives, a federal judge on Thursday ordered former Brocade Communications CEO Gregory Reyes to serve 18 months in prison and pay a million fine for his role in a stock-options backdating scandal that rocked Silicon Valley five years ago.“The integrity of the financial markets is of great concern to millions of people,” District Judge Charles Breyer told a grim-faced Reyes, once a rising star in the valley’s tech industry.Defense attorney Stephen Neal said Thursday that he plans another appeal, but the judge ordered Reyes, who has been free on bond, to begin serving his term in September.Moments earlier, Breyer had interjected as Neal was urging the judge not to blame Reyes for events in which he relied on the advice of lawyers and other experts. He did not, on a number of occasions, speak the truth — and that is why he is where he is today.” The case grew out of a wide-ranging federal investigation into the way numerous companies granted stock options to executives and employees.
At least a dozen other executives have been criminally charged for options shenanigans at their companies as part of a federal Justice Department probe launched in 2006.
For the second time, a federal jury has found former Brocade Communications CEO Gregory Reyes guilty of securities fraud and related charges in a closely watched case that grew out of a wide-ranging investigation into the backdating of stock options in Silicon Valley.
Reyes was found guilty Friday on one count of securities fraud and eight counts of making or submitting false statements, but he was acquitted on a single count of conspiracy.
Reyes was the most prominent local executive to face criminal charges after the government launched an investigation into the handling of stock options at dozens of valley companies.
His first conviction, after a highly publicized trial in 2007, was set aside by an appellate court.