Martha Stewart's Stock -10.00 Wednesday, +10.00 Friday, Ending the Week at 0
Martha Stewart won a round in court Friday as a judge ruled that prosecutors cannot call expert witnesses to testify that she duped investors into buying stock in her company by making false statements.
Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled that the government cannot ask Wall Street analysts if their ratings of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia stock were influenced by Stewart's statements that she did nothing wrong in selling her ImClone Systems Inc. stock in late December 2001.
The statements are essential to the government's assertion that Stewart tried to influence the price of her own company's stock with her denials of wrongdoing in the case.
Stewart is accused of lying to investigators about the reason for her stock sale and trying to prop up the price of Martha Stewart Living stock by not telling the truth.
The government says Stewart sold because of an inside tip -- passed from Bacanovic through his assistant at the time, Douglas Faneuil, to Stewart -- that ImClone founder Sam Waksal was trying to sell on Dec. 27, 2001. Stewart and Bacanovic say they had a long-standing pact to sell ImClone stock if the shares fell below $60.
On Wednesday, the ninth day of the trial, Stewart's lawyer asked for a mistrial, but the federal judge overseeing the case denied the motion.