A judge declared a mistrial Feb. 21 in the second insider trading trial of Jim Mazzo, vice chair of Chapman’s Board of Trustees.
The jury had been deliberating since Feb. 15. They failed to come to a unanimous verdict, with 10-2 in favor of acquitting Mazzo of the charges, according to the courtroom deputy at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Santa Ana, where the month-and-a-half-long trial was held.
Last year, during Mazzo’s first trial for insider trading charges, the jury deliberated for a week and a half before a mistrial was also declared, but the jury voted 8-4 in favor of conviction.
Insider trading is the illegal use of information that is available only to insiders in a company, shared with outside investors in order to make a profit in financial trading.
In this year’s trial, Mazzo was accused of 16 counts of insider trading charges and four counts of lying in court charges. On Feb. 7, Chapman President Emeritus Jim Doti testified in defense of Mazzo, who has donated $500,000 to Chapman, saying that Mazzo has handled confidential information with integrity.
Mazzo was accused of providing insider information to former Los Angeles Angels player Doug DeCinces, who was convicted of felony insider trading charges last year.
In September 2016, DeCinces was a real estate developer on an unofficial housing project intended for Chapman students on Lemon Street. As of press time, it could not be confirmed if DeCinces was still involved in the project.
DeCinces testified in this year’s trial that Mazzo provided him with insider information, according to the Los Angeles Times. This information caused DeCinces to profit by more than $1 million, said U.S. prosecuting attorney Jennifer Waier during the first trial, which was held last spring.
It is not yet clear whether the prosecution will dismiss the charges or pursue another retrial.
This is a developing story. Follow The Panther as we continue reporting.