Jury deliberations in the trial of five former employees of Bernard Madoff accused of aiding his $17.5bn Ponzi scheme were delayed a second day due to a sick juror, prompting the judge presiding over the case to call a hearing today in Manhattan federal court.
Erik Larson from Bloomberg News reports that U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain asked the lawyers to discuss backup plans if the juror doesn't return. At a similar hearing earlier this week, prosecutors and defense lawyers said they're open to going forward with an 11-person jury instead of 12, rather than use an alternate. No decision was made.
Alternate jurors heard all of the trial testimony. They were dismissed before deliberations began, advised to stand by in case they were needed and barred from talking to the media. If an alternate is used, deliberations will have to start again.
The panel had met for two days before the juror fell ill. The defendants are charged with using millions of fake account statements and trade confirmations to trick customers of Madoff’s investment firm into believing they owned shares in the world’s biggest companies.
To access the complete Bloomberg article hit the link below: