ImClone’s Waksal Pleads Innocent
NEW YORK (AP) _ ImClone Systems Inc. founder and chief executive Samuel Waksal pleaded innocent Monday to insider trading charges and outside court defended his company and its cancer drug.
The plea occurred in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where Waksal had been indicted on charges of inside trading and perjury. New charges of obstruction of justice and bank fraud were brought against Waksal last week, requiring the new arraignment.
Prosecutors had sought unsuccessfully to arrange a plea deal with Waksal. Such a deal would have required him to reveal, in exchange for leniency, whether he provided insider trading tips to family and friends, including decorating maven Martha Stewart.
Outside court, Waksal said the case had been ``extremely challenging and emotionally draining for me, my family and my friends.″
He said he still believed that his company’s highly touted cancer drug, Erbitux, has the potential to help thousands of cancer victims.
Waksal, 54, was arrested in June on charges he secretly advised family members _ widely reported to be his daughter, Aliza, and father, Jack _ to sell their ImClone stock on Dec. 27 after learning that Erbitux had been rejected by the Food and Drug Administration.
Investigators also targeted Stewart, chief executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., after learning that she disposed of nearly 4,000 shares on Dec. 27. Stewart has denied any wrongdoing.