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Former Merrill Banker Rejected by Top Court in Enron Case

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand the conviction of a former Merrill Lynch & Co. (BAC) banker for lying to a grand jury about a fraudulent barge sale by Enron Corp., the now-defunct energy trader.

For the second time since 2007, the justices rejected an appeal by James A. Brown, who has served a year in prison and is seeking to avoid additional time.

Brown argued that his conviction should have been overturned because prosecutors failed to turn over statements, collected from Enron officials, that might have led the jury to acquit him. A federal appeals court upheld a trial judge’s conclusion that Brown’s rights weren’t violated.

The government is seeking to have Brown imprisoned for an additional six to 12 months.

The case stems from Enron’s 1999 effort to disguise a loan from Merrill as proceeds from the sale of three power-generating barges moored off the coast of Nigeria. Enron recorded $12 million in sham earnings from the transaction.

Brown was accused of lying when he told the grand jury he wasn’t aware of promises by Enron that Merrill wouldn’t lose money on the deal.

The case is Brown v. United States, 11-783.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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