As one antitrust lawyer I know put it: "Apparently, the government can't seem to get criminal trials involving financial executives (as opposed to, well, drug dealers) right. Go figure."
In this case, the defendants were shielded by the sheer complexity of the case. It would appear that the state took so long sorting through the mountains of recorded conversations and interviews to find the massive but well-camouflaged crime – these men, along with others like them in other banks, were using code words to rig the auction process so that banks and finance companies could collude and bid lower for city and town money management business – that the statute of limitations ran out on their own individual actions. When that happened, the Feds then switched up and charged them with different crimes related to what they claimed was an ongoing conspiracy, using continuing interest payments to establish the "ongoing" part of the indictment.
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