A U.S. judge has vacated the conviction of a former Merrill Lynch administrative assistant who lied to a grand jury under pressure from her boss but then helped convict six former brokers and traders of generating illegal profits with information they overheard on a 'squawk box'.
Reuters reports that Judge Leo Glasser of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn took the extraordinarily rare step of vacating the guilty plea of Irene Santiago, who admitted in 2005 to testifying falsely before a grand jury and agreed to cooperate with government investigators.
Santiago's testimony helped convict the six men but their convictions were overturned on appeal. Prosecutors later agreed to drop the charges against them if they met certain conditions.
In a ruling released on Friday, Glasser said it would be an injustice to leave Santiago with a conviction after the six defendants had their records scrubbed clean and their rights restored.
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