For the second time, a trial of a Laguna Beach man accused of providing his neighbor, former Angels baseball player Doug DeCinces, with insider trading tips about his company’s merger ended in a mistrial with the jury deadlocked.
After a lengthy trial and more than 3½ days of deliberations, U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford declared the latest mistrial Wednesday in the case of James Mazzo.
Jurors could not reach unanimous agreement on the insider-trading charges, with most favoring acquittal, according to court records.
In 2016, a jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of conviction.
Federal prosecutors have not decided whether they will retry the case, Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said Thursday.
“We are reviewing the matter,” he said.
Mazzo’s attorney, Richard Marmaro, did not immediately respond to an email from the Daily Pilot seeking comment Thursday, but he told City News Service that he was “gratified by the result.”
“We appreciate the jury’s conscientious service, and we continue to believe in Jim Mazzo’s innocence,” Marmaro said.
Prosecutors alleged that Mazzo told DeCinces in 2009 that Advanced Medical Optics, the Santa Ana-based medical supply company for which Mazzo was chief executive, was going to be purchased by Abbott Laboratories.
DeCinces, who was convicted in May 2017 of multiple counts of insider trading, testified during Mazzo’s trial in January that he bought shares of the company in January 2009, a day after meeting Mazzo for dinner at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, where the two were members.
“Based on what I heard the night before, I felt like I did not have enough stock,” DeCinces told jurors.
DeCinces bought additional stock and tipped off his friend David Parker, along with family members and his physical therapist, prosecutors said.
Shortly afterward, Abbott acquired Advanced Medical for about four times the price its stock was trading for. After the merger was made public, Advanced Medical’s stock price increased by 143%, according to court filings.
Prosecutors said DeCinces sold all his shares in the company, netting about $1.3 million.
DeCinces’ cooperation with federal prosecutors during Mazzo’s trial is expected to get DeCinces a shorter sentence. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.