Stock fraudster’s conviction does not outlive his death, US court rules | Reuters

The U.S. Justice Department has lost its bid to convince a federal appeals court to break with its counterparts in other circuit courts and rule that a defendant’s conviction does not get wiped away just because he died while his appeal was pending.

The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday joined, opens new tab with all 11 other regional federal appeals courts by recognizing a legal doctrine that requires former PixarBio Corp CEO Frank Reynolds’ securities fraud conviction to be scrapped because he died in 2022.

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He was sentenced in 2020 to seven years in prison and ordered to forfeit $280,000 and pay $7.55 million in restitution to his victims. Those financial orders will be vacated too, which means prosecutors now would need to pursue a new civil case against Reynolds’ estate to recover money for his victims.

The court’s ruling relied on the legal doctrine known as “abatement ab initio,” under which trial convictions are vacated when defendants die before they can exhaust their appeals, as Reynolds did.

Source: Stock fraudster’s conviction does not outlive his death, US court rules | Reuters