Federal prosecutors this week dropped perjury and insider trading charges against former Advanced Medical Optics CEO James Mazzo related to AMO’s $2.8 billion acquisition by Abbott (NYSE:ABT) in 2009 in light of two hung juries, according to court documents.
Judge Andrew Guilford for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ordered a dismissal with prejudice for Mazzo this week, according to court documents.
Mazzo faced charges of tipping close friend and neighbor Doug DeCinces, a former Orioles player, about AMO’s then-pending merger (Abbott subsequently sold the business to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) for $4.33 billion last year). DeCinces allegedly passed that information on to former teammate Eddie Murray, who later agreed to settle his case for $358,000 but admitted no wrongdoing; DeCinces agreed in 2011 to pony up $2.5 million (but admitted no guilt) to settle similar charges leveled by the SEC.
Last month, Mazzo agreed to pay $1.5 million but admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, the SEC said.
A California federal judge in May 2017 declared a mistrial in Mazzo’s first trial, after a jury deadlocked over the charges against him. That jury also convicted DeCinces and a business associate on charges of tender offer fraud, despite deadlocking on other charges against DeCinces and all of the charges against Mazzo.
Mazzo, now global ophthalmology president at Carl Zeiss Meditec (ETR:AFX) after a 3-year run as president and CEO at AcuFocus, had argued that there is “no evidence” of him “lying, cheating, or hiding anything.” In February a new jury once again hit deadlock in the second trial, prompting another mistrial; a third trial is now off the table.
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