ImClone founder pleads guilty to fraud
Wednesday 16 October 2002
Sam Waksal, the founder of ImClone Systems, pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court yesterday to six charges related to the insider trading scandal that has engulfed the biotech company and focused the attention of investigators on the home decorating diva Martha Stewart.
Waksal, who was arrested in June, expressed his remorse to the judge before pleading guilty to the charges. They include bank fraud, obstruction of justice, perjury, conspiracy and securities fraud. He faces a possible prison term of 65 years.
"I have made some terrible mistakes and I deeply regret what has happened, I was wrong," Waksal said in a brief statement as he emerged from the court building. Prosecutors indicated that more charges could be filed against Waksal, 54, as well as against others involved in the case.
The affair erupted in June when authorities arrested Waksal and charged him with selling shares in ImClone last December when he learned that the Food and Drug Administration would reject the company's experimental cancer drug, Erbitux. He sold the shares before the decision was made public.
Investigators have also been trying to establish whether Waksal tipped off others about the impending negative news, including members of his family and Ms Stewart, who is a long-time friend. Ms Stewart sold 4,000 ImClone shares on 27 December, one day before the FDA announcement.
Ms Stewart, who has not been charged in the case, has maintained her innocence, insisting that the timing of the sale of her shares was coincidental. She has said that she had a standing instruction with her broker at Merrill Lynch to sell her stake in the company were the share price to fall to less than $60.
Last month, however, an assistant to the broker agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanour in the case, revealing that he had lied in early interviews with investigators about the circumstances of the sale of ImClone shares. The assistant, Douglas Faneuil, has agreed to testify against Ms Stewart and others if they are charged in the scandal.
Judge William Pauley said he would set the length of Waksal's sentence after considering a probation report. Waksal originally entered innocent pleas in the case. Yesterday, he said he still holds high hopes for Erbitux and the relief the drug promises for cancer sufferers.
Waksal maintained, however, that he did not tip off members of his family. He said that he had caused his daughter, Aliza Waksal, to sell her shares without actually telling her what he knew.
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...