Sudikoff trial moved back to February '99

by Kathrin Weston | 10/23/98 5:00am

The trial of Jeffrey Sudikoff '77, charged with trying to inflate his company's value by faking millions of dollars in profits, has been postponed again to Feb. 9 as a result of several pre-trial motions filed by his attorneys.

In late 1997, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Sudikoff on 19 charges related to his Los Angeles-based firm, IDB Communications Group Inc.

Sudikoff, who owned the Los Angeles Kings hockey team from October 1995 to October 1996, donated over $3 million for the construction of Sudikoff Laboratory for Computer Sciences in 1993.

Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy Shubin said Sudikoff's trial, which will be held in Los Angeles, was originally scheduled for March, but was rescheduled for Oct. 27.

Dartmouth's Director of Principal Giving Lucretia Martin said Sudikoff's indictment and trial will not have any effect on his donation to the College or on the building bearing his name. She said the money for the building came from a private fund.

Martin said the College does not have a policy on renaming buildings. Once a building is named after a donor, its name will not be changed, she said.

The College has never in its history experienced a case where a donor acquired the money for his donation illegally, or where a building's name was changed, she said.

Sudikoff's lawyer Michael Shepard said Sudikoff has pled not guilty and will plead not guilty again at his trial in February.

Shepard said the defense requires more time because it is waiting for additional information from the government. In a criminal case, he said, the government is required to provide the defensive side with exculpatory material well in advance of the trial.

In the meantime, the defense has also filed several motions to dismiss various counts against Sudikoff, including insider trading, Shepard said.

"We are confounded by the decision to charge Jeffrey with insider trading," Sudikoff's attorney's said in a press release issued at the time of the indictment. "We believe no charges should have been brought."

Trading while in possession of non-public information does not constitute insider trading sufficient to bring charges upon the insider, Shepard said. In such charges, the prosecuting side must prove that the defendant used financial information to further his own ends. The defense will still file several other motions, Shepard said.

Sudikoff, the company's founder and Chief executive officer, and IDB's president, Edward Cheramy, were indicted on 19 charges related to stock fraud, including insider trading and false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The indictment followed an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division.

According to the indictment, Sudikoff allegedly sold $1.6 million in IDB stock through an account created in a friend's name in March,1994.

In their press release, Sudikoff's attorneys Shepard and Brad Brian said their client never received financial benefit, because no stock was ever sold from his account.

Sudikoff and Cheramy allegedly inflated IDB's income by creating a fictional sale of "satellite transponder capacity" to another company after discovering that the company's revenues would fall well below stock market analyst predictions.

At the end of that year, IDB was bought by LDDS, another communications company, and took on the name of Worldcom, Shepard said. Sudikoff does not hold an executive position in this company, he stated.

Currently, Sudikoff is involved in several start-up capital ventures, such as Interpacket in Santa Monica, Cal., Shepard said.

"He's very active," he said.