On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney took the extraordinary action of dismissing the felony case against Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Samueli (pictured) on charges of lying to investigators in a probe of improper accounting at the company. The LA Times reports that the judge concluded that what Samueli had told SEC investigators was “ambiguous and evasive” but not a material false statement and therefore not a crime.
Samueli reportedly bowed his head, thanked the court and stated, “That you truly understood what happened here means a lot to me. You have restored my faith in the criminal justice system.”
In June 2008, Samueli entered a guilty plea to the charges and agreed to pay a $12-million penalty. The plea deal called for no prison time, however, and Judge Carney rejected the agreement for that reason. Yesterday, Judge Carney dismissed the charge altogether, and lawyers following the case said Carney’s action was unprecedented.
The LA Times reports that the judge explained that after listening to Samueli’s testimony this week, he simply did not believe he was guilty.