Former ArthroCare (NSDQ:ARTC) CEO Michael Baker wants a new trial after being convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his part in a scheme estimated to have cost investors more than $750 million.
Baker was sentenced August 29 to 20 years and former ArthroCare CFO Michael Gluk drew 10 years from Judge Samuel Sparks of the U.S. District Court for Western Texas.
Federal prosecutors had wanted a 30-year sentence for Baker and a 20-year term for Gluk. The duo was indicted last year on 17 counts of conspiracy to commit fraud for their alleged roles in running a scheme designed to defraud investors. After their convictions, Baker and Gluk asked Sparks to grant their motions for acquittal (Baker also asked for a new trial). Sparks declined, ruling that neither defendant showed that the testimony and evidence in the trial was not credible. The judge also ordered the pair to repay $22.2 million in illicit profits and sentenced them to 5 years of supervision after their terms are served.
Yesterday Baker argued that he’s entitled to a new trial because a court security guard excluded of members of Baker’s and Gluk’s families and the general public on the 1st day of jury selection.
“On that morning, members of the public – including the families of Mr. Baker and co-defendant Michael Gluk – who wished to attend the voir dire of prospective jurors in this matter, were excluded from the courtroom during the entirety of the jury selection process on the ground that all available seats were required for the seating of prospective jurors," Baker claimed in court documents. "In Presley v. Georgia, the Supreme Court held that the exclusion of members of the public from the jury selection process in a criminal trial constituted structural error, requiring the setting aside of the defendant’s resulting conviction without any further showing of prejudice."
In May 2013, ex-executive David Applegate pleaded guilty to the fraud charger; later that month former co-worker John Raffle denied his involvement but later changed his plea to guilty. Raffle was sentenced to serve 6 years and 8 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release, according to a press release, while Applegate was sentenced to a 5-year term and 3 years of supervised release.
Early this year ArthroCare, which was acquired for $1.7 billion by Smith & Nephew (FTSE:SN, NYSE:SNN), agreed to pay a $30 million fine and enter a deferred prosecution deal to settle its part in the fraud case.