The trial of Jitesh Thakkar for aiding and abetting two instances of spoofing – which were executed by the convicted mega spoofer Navinder Sarao, whom Thakkar never met – ended Tuesday afternoon at about 4:30 when Judge Robert Gettleman dismissed the hopelessly locked jury.
Gettleman praised the jury for its conscientiousness and thanked them warmly. He invited them back to his chambers, where he thanked them individually and told them that they were free to discuss the case as they wished. They were told they could return to the courtroom and speak with the attorneys, or not.
The three jurors who came back to the courtroom all seemed to have been in favor of acquittal.
They revealed that the jury had locked with a vote of 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal. They said that some thought that maybe “some things weren’t right” in Thakkar‘s computer programming but that they had reasonable doubt that Thakkar knew it would be used for spoofing when his firm programmed the “back of book” function. They were satisfied that there were at least some valid uses for the program.
One of the “holdouts” apparently felt that Thakkar should have known that the program would be used for spoofing. That juror was persuaded in part by the fact that Sarao had complained a couple of times that his orders were being hit and the program wasn’t working right.
Later, when I rode down in the elevator with those three jurors, I told them that I thought they had done a great job. They said it was difficult at times for them because of the very arcane nature of the subject matter. One of the jurors said that apparently Sarao was pretty famous because he had seen an article about him in the SunTimes last week – which he ripped out of the paper and threw away without reading. All three of them were fascinated by Sarao. What I took to be Sarao’s distinct Asperger affect during testimony, they suspected was the result of coaching by the prosecution. I told them that Sarao was pretty famous in the trading industry and suggested that they google “Bloomberg” and “Sarao” for the story.
The further disposition of the federal government’s case against Thakkar will be discussed on Wednesday at 9:30 in Judge Gettleman’s courtroom.
You can help support Jitesh’s legal defense fund by contributing to his “Go Fund Me” campaign. The link is here: https://www.gofundme.com/programmer-vs-us-govt-legal-defense-fund . Thank you.