Before the jury began its deliberations yesterday in the fraud trial of ex-Citigroup banker Brian Stoker, it heard a decidedly colorful argument from his lawyer. "Most of the trial had nothing to with Brian Stoker," John Keker said in his closing, saying it reminded him of the Where's Waldo? books. Then, he went so far as to pull up a reproduction Where's Waldo? cover, Reuters reports.
"Everyone in this CDO group, including the managing directors, knew as much or more than Brian Stoker did," Keker said. Stoker was on trial for his role in hand-picking assets for a collateralized debt obligation, then selling that CDO to clients—without telling them that Citi was betting $500 million it would fail. "Citigroup stacked the deck and Brian Stoker dealt the cards," the SEC said in its closing argument. Keker argued that Citi as a whole was to blame, not Stoker individually. The jury apparently agreed, today declaring that Stoker was not liable for misleading investors, reports BusinessWeek.