Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Lawyers for former Brocade CEO Gregory Reyes filed a number of letters requesting that U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer show him leniency when Reyes is sentenced in December on the ten charges related to options backdating at the company. It is commonplace in white collar crime cases -- particularly for convicted CEOs -- for a deluge of letters in support of the defendant to come to the sentencing judge. A sample of the letters (available below) includes a number written by former Brocade employees attesting to Reyes' good character. In addition, there are letters from the CEO and chairman of VeriSign, which recently announced that the SEC closed its investigation of the company for options backdating, the former U.S. CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers who served on Brocade's audit committee, and a senior partner at McKinsey.
Whether these types of letters have any appreciable effect on the sentencing is an open question. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines is usually the main driver of the sentence, but if Judge Breyer is willing to depart from the recommended sentence then they could provide the support necessary. The sentencing will take place after the trial of a second Brocade officer, the former manager of its HR department, scheduled to begin after Thanksgiving. (ph)