Stewart’s Legal Woes Grow

Jun 04, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Federal prosecutors will seek an indictment against Martha Stewart in connection
with the sale of 4,000 shares of ImClone, according to her company, Martha Stewart
Living Omnimedia.

Company shares fell $1.68 to $9.52 after the announcement.

While the exact counts being sought against Ms. Stewart are not known, speculation
has centered on possible insider-trading violations and obstruction of justice

According to the Associated Press, Ms. Stewart sold her shares “one
day before the Food and Drug Administration announced it would not review ImClone’s
application for approval of Erbitux.”

Ms. Stewart is a friend of Samuel Waksal, founder of ImClone, who has pleaded
guilty to six counts of insider-trading.

She has maintained her innocence all along saying she had a standing order
with her broker to sell her ImClone shares once the stock fell below $60.

Moderator’s Comment: Will Martha Stewart’s legal problems
finally begin to affect sales of her line of products in Kmart?

So far consumers have made the distinction between Martha
Stewart the person and Martha Stewart the brand. Sales of her name brand items
at Kmart have been growing even with the chain closing stores.

Anthony Sabino, associate professor of law at St. John’s
University doesn’t believe Ms. Stewart’s line will remain teflon-coated forever.
He told AP, “There’s no doubt people are going to say: ‘I don’t think Martha
Stewart is a nice person any more; I don’t think I’m going to buy her products.’
Kmart needs every ounce of marketing strength they can gather. This cloud over
Martha Stewart is a cloud over them.” [George
Anderson – Moderator

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